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49 U.S. Code § 41720 - Joint venture agreements

(a) Definitions.—In this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) Joint venture agreement.—
The term “joint venture agreement” means an agreement between two or more major air carriers on or after January 1, 1998, with regard to (A) code-sharing, blocked-space arrangements, long-term wet leases (as defined in section 207.1 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations) of a substantial number (as defined by the Secretary by regulation) of aircraft, or frequent flyer programs, or (B) any other cooperative working arrangement (as defined by the Secretary by regulation) between 2 or more major air carriers that affects more than 15 percent of the total number of available seat miles offered by the major air carriers.
(2) Major air carrier.—
The term “major air carrier” means a passenger air carrier that is certificated under chapter 411 of this title and included in Carrier Group III under criteria contained in section 04 of part 241 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.
(b) Submission of Joint Venture Agreement.—At least 30 days before a joint venture agreement may take effect, each of the major air carriers that entered into the agreement shall submit to the Secretary—
a complete copy of the joint venture agreement and all related agreements; and
other information and documentary material that the Secretary may require by regulation.
(c) Extension of Waiting Period.—
(1) In general.—The Secretary may extend the 30-day period referred to in subsection (b) until—
in the case of a joint venture agreement with regard to code-sharing, the 150th day following the last day of such period; and
in the case of any other joint venture agreement, the 60th day following the last day of such period.
(2) Publication of reasons for extension.—
If the Secretary extends the 30-day period referred to in subsection (b), the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register the Secretary’s reasons for making the extension.
(d) Termination of Waiting Period.—
At any time after the date of submission of a joint venture agreement under subsection (b), the Secretary may terminate the waiting periods referred to in subsections (b) and (c) with respect to the agreement.
(e) Regulations.—
The effectiveness of a joint venture agreement may not be delayed due to any failure of the Secretary to issue regulations to carry out this section.
(f) Memorandum To Prevent Duplicative Reviews.—
Promptly after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall consult with the Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice in order to establish, through a written memorandum of understanding, preclearance procedures to prevent unnecessary duplication of effort by the Secretary and the Assistant Attorney General under this section and the antitrust laws of the United States, respectively.
(g) Prior Agreements.—With respect to a joint venture agreement entered into before the date of enactment of this section as to which the Secretary finds that—
the parties submitted the agreement to the Secretary before such date of enactment; and
the parties submitted all information on the agreement requested by the Secretary,
the waiting period described in paragraphs (2) and (3) shall begin on the date, as determined by the Secretary, on which all such information was submitted and end on the last day to which the period could be extended under this section.
(h) Limitation on Statutory Construction.—
The authority granted to the Secretary under this section shall not in any way limit the authority of the Attorney General to enforce the antitrust laws as defined in the first section of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 12).
(Added Pub. L. 105–277, div. C, title I, § 110(f)(1), Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–588, § 41716; renumbered § 41720 and amended Pub. L. 106–181, title II, § 231(b)(1), title VII, § 709, Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 108, 159.)
Editorial Notes
References in Text

The date of enactment of this section, referred to in subsecs. (f) and (g), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 105–277, which was approved Oct. 21, 1998.


Pub. L. 105–277, § 110(f)(1), which directed amendment of subchapter I of chapter 417 by adding this section at the end, without specifying a Code title or Act, was executed by adding this section at the end of this subchapter to reflect the probable intent of Congress.


2000—Pub. L. 106–181, § 231(b)(1), renumbered section 41716 of this title as this section.

Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 106–181, § 709, substituted “an agreement between two or more major air carriers” for “an agreement entered into by a major air carrier”.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–181 applicable only to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 1999, see section 3 of Pub. L. 106–181, set out as a note under section 106 of this title.