Court to Fast-Track DOJ Challenge to American, US Airways Merger
A federal judge set a late November trial date for the Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit to the proposed merger of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. and US Airways.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly announced that the trial will begin on November 25 in front of a packed courtroom. The decision is being seen as positive for the two airlines, which wanted a trial date as soon as possible, having requested November 12 in their court filings while citing the “steep costs and burdens” that would result from the uncertainty about the outcome of the merger. The DOJ had proposed that the trial begin next March.
Judge Kollar-Kotelly said that the DOJ’s date was “too far off” and that she would proceed with the trial on an expedited basis.
Earlier this month, the DOJ filed a civil antitrust lawsuit seeking to block the proposed $11 billion merger between the two airlines. Six state attorneys general and the District of Columbia joined the DOJ. In its filing, the government said that the merger will lead to higher prices and less competition. Meanwhile American and US Airways say that the combination of the two airlines will make them more competitive and have a positive effect on the market.
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