This Dogfight Goes To Court

The airfare wars have turned litigious. Weaker carriers have long complained that fare cuts by American Airlines were intended to drive them out of business. Now, that complaint has come to court. On June 8, Continental Airlines, under bankruptcy protection since December, 1990, filed suit in federal court alleging antitrust violations including predatory pricing. Shareholders of America West Airlines, also in Chapter 11, filed a similar motion in bankruptcy court. American responded with its own action, asking a federal court to declare its fares lawful. But the tiff is unlikely to provoke government action: A Transportation Dept. official says the agency won't step in. Neither will Congress--at least for now. Wendell Ford (D-Ky.), chairman of the Senate aviation subcommittee, says the panel will "let the airlines' lawyers fight it out."

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