The Department of Justice (DOJ) slammed the proposed merger between U.S. Airways Group Inc. and AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, filing an antitrust suit against the companies and claiming that the transaction would “result in consumers paying the price—in higher airfares, higher fees and fewer choices.”
Originally, attorneys general from six states with high air traffic (Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia), along with the District of Columbia, joined the DOJ’s antitrust suit. Now, as the suit gains momentum, a newcomer has joined the list: Michigan.
The DOJ filed an amended complaint on Thursday, adding Michigan to the plaintiffs against the merger. In the revised complaint, government lawyers wrote, “The merger would eliminate head-to-head competition in hundreds of relevant markets and entrench US Airways’ dominance at Reagan National Airport” in Washington D.C.
According to Bloomberg, the government complaint also cuts 29 routes from the list of city pairs that would have an illegally high concentration of the merged airline’s flights should the merger succeed.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has set a Nov. 25 trial date after American Airlines and U.S. Airways asked to have the trial moved up from February. The companies claimed in a joint filing that a delayed trial would “cause serious harm and cannot be justified.” AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy last year and sees the proposed merger as a major step away from its current financial troubles.
For more on the legal news surrounding the U.S. Airways-American Airlines merger, check out these InsideCounsel stories: