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US: Court filing reveals meeting between AA, US Airways, DOJ before merger lawsuit

 |  August 27, 2013

A new court filing placed Friday shows the US Department of Justice met with airline conglomerates American Airlines and US Airways just one week before the DOJ filed its lawsuit against the airlines to block their planned merger. At the time, American Airlines was just weeks away from not only acquiring US Airways, but also from emerging from bankruptcy.

Reports say court documents show the DOJ met with the airlines several times between late July and early August of this year, as well as the DOJ’s antitrust litigator William J. Baer, more than one week before the merger lawsuit was filed. The court papers also highlight seven months’ worth of an investigation by the DOJ before the lawsuit was filed.

Specific occurrences of the meetings were not disclosed, but lawyers for the airlines said the DOJ repeatedly turned down offers to settle.

The merger, which would create the world’s largest airline, will be fought for by the parties in court; the companies hope to have the case begin as early as November 12, though the DOJ would like to push the case back to next February.

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