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US: Airlines lose bid to dismiss price-fixing lawsuit

 |  October 31, 2016

A federal judge rejected a bid by the four largest US airlines to dismiss nationwide antitrust litigation by passengers who accused them of conspiring to raise fares by keeping seating capacity artificially low.

In a decision late Friday afternoon, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said she could “reasonably infer the existence of a conspiracy” among American Airlines Group Inc , Delta Air Lines Inc , Southwest Airlines Co and United Continental Holdings Inc to fix prices.

Kollar-Kotelly, who sits in Washington, DC, did not rule on the merits of the proposed class-action case, which combines 105 lawsuits filed around the country and seeks triple damages.

The US Department of Justice last year began its own probe into a possible conspiracy among the airlines, which, according to government data, command a roughly 69-percent domestic market share.

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