This paper empirically analyses the impact of government ownership on competition. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent governmental equity interventions in the European airline industry provides for a particularly ideal setting to investigate this topic, and this for several reasons. First, airline markets and competition therein are well-defined and well-understood. Second, European countries offered rescue packages differing in size and scope; several countries provided sizable equity interventions to their national airlines - in total, around 13.7 bn €. We present preliminary results on how these equity interventions affected competitive outcomes.
(joint work with Albert Banal-Estanol, Wolfgang Grimme, Sven Maertens, Jo Seldeslachts)