American Airlines, US Airways Respond to DOJ Lawsuit
In separate responses filed in September, American Airlines and US Airways disputed claims in the Department of Justice lawsuit that seeks to block the merger of the two airlines. In the court papers, the carriers defended their merger as pro-competitive and said the government’s challenge showed a lack of knowledge of the airline industry.
The response alleges that the government’s lawsuit “presents no coherent rationale supporting its challenge to the merger,” according to the filing by AMR, parent of American Airlines. “Rather, it cobbles together a collection of ad hoc contentions based on anecdotes involving small numbers of passengers and historical e-mails and other documents irrelevant to this transaction, while ignoring the central facts and economic realities of today’s airline industry.”
The carriers allege that DOJ also wanted to treat the proposed merger differently from other recent mergers that it had not opposed: Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Inc. in 2008, and United Airlines Inc. and Continental Airlines Inc. in 2010.
If approved, the merger of US Airways and American would create the largest airline in the world. In their responses the two carriers repeated the benefits of their merger to employees and customers, which they have touted since the merger was announced Feb. 13. Shareholders and unions with each company had already blessed the deal and the European Commission had given it the green light.
However, on Aug. 13, in a surprise move, Justice attorneys filed suit in US District Court in Washington, DC, seeking to block the merger outright rather than force concessions. In response to a motion by the airlines to set an expedited trial date, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is set to hear the case Nov. 25.
For more information visit aa.com.