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American Airlines and US Airways seek early trial in antitrust suit

American says suit is obstacle for its plan to exit bankruptcy

AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, and US Airways Group Inc. is hoping to speed up its trial date to defend their proposed merger against antitrust claims.

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit against AMR and US Airways, claiming the merger would hurt competition within the airline industry.

“By challenging this merger, the Department of Justice is saying that the American people deserve better,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “This transaction would result in consumers paying the price—in higher airfares, higher fees and fewer choices.”

According to Bloomberg, the DOJ wanted the trial set for February, but the airlines are pushing to get a November trial date—claiming in a joint filing that putting it off would “cause serious harm and cannot be justified.”

The airlines say the suit is an obstacle in AMR’s plans to exit bankruptcy. “The parties’ urgency to complete their transaction is far greater here than in ordinary merger cases,” the airlines said. “American’s ongoing bankruptcy proceedings compound the costs and uncertainties associated with the delays caused by the government’s lawsuit, including approximately $500,000 in bankruptcy-related professional fees alone every day that the bankruptcy continues.”

The merger, if approved, will create the world’s largest airline.

Read more about this story on Bloomberg.

Read more InsideCounsel stories about the airline industry:

American Airlines files plan to exit bankruptcy

American Airlines and Orbitz settle long-running suit

American Airlines-US Airways merger approved

American Airlines, US Airways announce $11 billion merger

Judge revives case against United Airlines over wheelchair

Man sues airlines over obese wife’s death

Woman sues Southwest Airlines for $800,000 over hot tea


Cathleen Flahardy

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