Aeroplane makers investigated

AIRBUS AND BOEING, the world's two largest plane makers, are under investigation by competition authorities over allegations of price-fixing. The United States Federal Trade Commission launched the probe after both companies revealed plans to increase prices on new orders. Boeing said earlier this year it would increase list prices on most of its aircraft by 5 per cent while Airbus announced a 3 per cent increase.

Boeing and Airbus were asked to submit pricing information and answer preliminary questions by the end of last month. Airbus - 20 per cent owned by British Aerospace - insisted there had been no collusion to fix prices.