American Airlines, US Airways Vow to Fight Government Efforts to Block Merger

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Above: an American Airlines plane

By the Caribbean Journal staff

American Airlines and US Airways say they will fight a move by the US Justice Department to block their proposed merger.

The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it would seek to block the deal, which would create the world’s largest airline and have a significant impact on the Caribbean region, where both carriers operate.

A group of six state attorney general and the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Washington to block the proposed merger of AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, and US Airways Group, arguing that the move would “substantially lessen competition for commercial air travel throughout the United States.”

“We believe that the DOJ is wrong in its assessment of our merger,” the two companies said in a statement. “Integrating the complementary networks of American and US Airways to benefit passengers is the motivation for bringing these airlines together.”

The DOJ said that, if the merger were allowed to go forward, “consumers will lose the benefit of head-to-head competition between US Airways and American on thousands of airline routes across the country – in cities big and small.”

“They will pay more for less service because the remaining three legacy carriers – United, Delta and the new American – will have very little incentive to compete on price,” the government said.

The carriers, however, said that “blocking this procompetitive merger will deny customers access to a broader airline network that gives them more choices.”

“We will mount a vigorous defense and pursue all legal options in order to achieve this merger and deliver the benefits of the new American to our customers and communities as soon as possible,” the airlines said.