Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DOJ Settles Airline Antitrust

The U.S. Justice Department agreed to settle with American Airlines and US Airways, ending the government’s antitrust lawsuit trying to block a merger creating the world's largest airline. The case was headed to trial this month in federal court and the parties previously agreed to a mediator suggested by the court. The Justice Department maintained the planned merger would create a monopoly, thereby reducing competition and leading to higher fares. The settlement calls for certain slots to be divested in major cities, including Boston, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Los Angeles. U.S. District Judge Kollar-Kotelly, who presided over the Microsoft antitrust case, is overseeing the litigation and must still approve the settlement. American, which has been in bankruptcy, will now exit court protection by merging with US Airways. The companies reportedly expect the merger to generate more than $1 billion in annual net synergies beginning in 2015. The merger will likely close in December, subject to the approval of the settlement by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. See story here-- http://fxn.ws/1gGczKR