The Competition and Market Authority (AGCM) – what we are used to calling “Antitrust” – has launched an investigation “into the algorithms in use” by airlines flying to Italy, to understand how fares are set flights to and from Sicily and Sardinia, especially during periods of more intense traffic. For years, in fact, the prices of flights during holidays such as Easter and Christmas, when it is foreseeable that a large number of people of Sardinian or Sicilian origin who live elsewhere want to reunite with their families, have been particularly high, even when attempts are made to buy them well in advance.
The AGCM explained that airlines adopt pricing systems that frequently change flight costs with the aim of maximizing revenues on the routes operated. Among the factors taken into consideration by the algorithms that decide the prices are the degree of filling of the flight, the trend of actual demand compared to expected demand and the time distance between the moment of purchase and the moment of departure of the flight.
The investigation aims to understand precisely how these algorithms work, and then “impose behavioral or structural measures on companies to eliminate distortions of competition”. But he likely won’t get much new information, since these details are normally protected by international trade secret laws.
– Read also: Going to Sardinia by plane is increasingly complicated and expensive