Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Antitrust Division Will Continue Probe of US Airways’ Acquisition of Airport Slots

This posting was written by John W. Arden.

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division will continue its ongoing investigation of U.S. Airways’ acquisition of Delta Airlines’ slots at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport to determine the transaction’s impact on competition and traveling consumers, the Department of Justice announced yesterday.

“The division will continue its investigation with a focus on the increase in US Airway’s share and use of the slots at Reagan National and the resulting decrease in Delta’s share and use of slots at this slot-constrained airport, at which passengers pay among the highest fares in the country, “ the Justice Department said.

The Antitrust Division will not continue to investigate US Airway’s acquisition of slots at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, having concluded that the acquisition does not raise competitive concerns.

The Justice Department pointed out that it works closely with the Department of Transportation on airline issues, but has a different function than the DOT. “The role of the Antitrust Division is to protect competition and to ensure that companies do not raise prices to harm consumers in violation of the antitrust laws.”

The division will take appropriate action, if warranted, at the conclusion of its investigation, the announcement stated.

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