Mattan Meridor, Head of Antitrust at Agmon & Co. Rosenberg Hacohen & Co

04 June,2018 - 01:00 pm UTC

WASHINGTON – International politics, such as the Saudi prohibition of Israeli carrier El Al flying over Saudi air space, directly impacts consumer welfare, according to a prominent Tel Aviv-based antitrust attorney. “It raises the problem of competition,” says Mattan Meridor, antitrust head at Tel Aviv-based Agmon & Co. Rosenberg Hacohen & Co., in this interview recorded at the 2018 annual ABA spring antitrust meeting. Flying El Al from Tel Aviv to cities in India, for example, takes longer than if a passenger books another carrier that is allowed to cross Saudi airspace. “You can either say, to Air India, don’t fly over the Saudis because it’s not fair, but then you hurt consumer welfare. Or, El Al loses in the competition.” This combined with Israel’s history of primarily government owned and operated industry, and competition law that Meridor says has been enforced seriously only since 1992, makes Israel a unique place to identify and prosecute monopolies.