AMR-US Airways Suit to Block Merger Joined by Michigan

Michigan joined six other states in a U.S. antitrust lawsuit seeking to block the American Airlines (AAMRQ) and US Airways Group Inc. (LCC) merger.

The addition of Michigan came in an amended complaint filed today in federal court in Washington. Justice Department lawyers said in court Aug. 30 that a state would be joining the suit.

“The merger would eliminate head-to-head competition in hundreds of relevant markets and entrench US Airways’ dominance at Reagan National Airport” serving Washington, government lawyers wrote in the revised complaint.

The new government filing also cuts 29 routes from the list of city pairs that will allegedly have illegally high levels of concentration if the merger of US Airways and AMR Corp.’s American Airlines goes through.

The U.S. and plaintiff states sued on Aug. 13, arguing that the merger, which would create the world’s largest airline, would reduce competition and hurt consumers.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has set a Nov. 25 trial date.

The case is U.S. v. US Airways Group Inc., 13-cv-01236, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Zajac in Washington at azajac@bloomberg.net; Sara Forden in Washington at sforden@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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