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US: Submissions for, against airline merger received

 |  March 11, 2014

Officials announced Monday that 14 comments had been submitted for court record regarding the merger between American Airlines and US Airways and the airlines’ settlement with the Department of Justice.

Concerns were raised regarding the case as the DOJ submitted a 51-page document in support of the settlement, urging a judge to authorize the deal.

According to reports, the DOJ argued the American Airlines buyout of US Airways is a “major victory for American consumers.”

The airlines settled with the DOJ last year and agreed to divest some takeoff and landing slots at airports around the nation. While the airlines have already begun to consolidate, the settlement with the DOJ still needs clearance by US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

And while the DOJ argued to Judge Kollar-Kotelly that the merger would prove beneficial to flyers, reports say 14 comments submitted to the court raised concerns about the merger.

Among those commenters is rival Delta Airlines, which accused the DOJ’s lawsuit against the merger as faulty because the regulators do not adequately understand the airline industry, say reports. Delta also reportedly slammed the DOJ for requiring the slot divestitures to go to low-cost airlines instead of major rivals, including Delta.

Additionally, one group of lawmakers reportedly raised concerns with the court that the merger will harm airline competition in small communities in the nation. Consumer advocates also argued that the settlement reached with authorities did not adequately address competition concerns.

American and US Airways completed the merger last December and are in the process of divesting airport slots. American Airlines Group, the result of the merger, announced this week that it has received $381 million from those sales.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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