Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On August 13, 2013, the United States Department of Justice  and attorneys general from six states, including Florida,and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit challenging the $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways, saying the combination would lead to higher prices and less service for consumers. 

 A formatted copy of the complaint appears below. 

Interestingly, these cases have proven very difficult for the government to establish. In the late 1990s, for example, the Department of Justice was not successful in prosecuting American Airlines (via its parent AMR) for "predatory pricing." Antitrust enforcement is a highly complicated area of the law. The goal of such litigation is to make sure that consumers are not worse off in the long run as a result of market behavior that actually reduces competition.  While that sounds easy and good, marshaling the facts and evidence and expert resources to prove that free market impulses should be stopped requires tremendous legal resources.

While globally important, this lawsuit is particularly important to South Florida and Miami residents who have already suffered the demised of Eastern Air Lines and Pan Am in years past.

Department of Justice Complaint (Re USAir -American merger) by Timothy M. Ravich, Esq.