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American Airlines and US Airways to Launch Vigorous Defense of Merger

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American Airlines and US Airways Group announced their intentions to “mount a vigorous and strong defense to the U.S. Department of Justice’s effort to block their proposed merger.”

“We believe that the DOJ is wrong in its assessment of our merger,” the airlines said in a statement released today. “Integrating the complementary networks of American and US Airways to benefit passengers is the motivation for bringing these airlines together. Blocking this procompetitive merger will deny customers access to a broader airline network that gives them more choices.”

In a conference call with reporters, the legal team representing the airlines were defiant in their response to the Department of Justice. “In the U.S. only a judge can stop a merger,” said Rich Parker, the attorney representing US Airways. “It’s only happened once in the last eight years.”

“All the government has done is lay down a marker,” said Joe Sims, representing American Airlines. “They have to prove this merger is anti-competitive.”

The airlines contend that the merger will not remove competition from the marketplace, but will instead create an airline capable of competing against United and Delta.

Parker said there are several benefits to the merger including reduction of costs, lower fares to consumers, increased service to different communities, and increasing the frequency of service.

Currently, American and US Airways compete on only 12 non-stop routes, said Sims, a partner at Jones Day. “That’s not a very big number.”

Calling it a “kitchen-sink complaint,” Sims insists that the 56-page complaint filed by the Justice Department does not present an accurate or compelling picture of the outlook of the merger. “If they want to convince the court that the sky is falling, they will need to show that there is more meat.”

Parker, a partner at O’Melveny & Myers, said he was prepared to listen to any settlement ideas from the DOJ, but expects a trial to occur before the end of the year.

[Photo: American Airlines]

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4 Comments
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ok2uselane August 15, 2013

"Parker said there are several benefits to the merger including reduction of costs, lower fares to consumers, increased service to different communities, and increasing the frequency of service." Reduction of costs (to the airline) = Probably, yes. Lower fares to consumers = When exactly has this ever happened when competition is lowered? Doubtful, at best. Increased service to different communities = How can this even be guaranteed? Increasing frequency of service = Again, how can this even be guaranteed?

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pindento August 15, 2013

That's absolutely write, I here what you're saying ... it happens two much. Authors need to put content aside for a moment and focus more on spelling if they want an effective peace of journalism. I'm sure the author values you're to scents!

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hearna August 15, 2013

Cheaper 'fairs' eh, I love how the quality of journalism has gotten so ridiculous these days, no one bothers to proof read anymore!

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BuildingMyBento August 15, 2013

"Parker said there are several benefits to the merger including reduction of costs, lower fairs to consumers, increased service to different communities, and increasing the frequency of service." - please change it to "fares" Here's to hoping that US is still going to OW, regardless of this mush.