Antitrust regulators are moving to block the proposed $11 billion merger between US Airways and American Airlines, as the Department of Justice (DOJ) believes the newly merged carrier would reduce competition and significantly raise airfare tickets for passengers.
Joining DOJ in a civil antitrust lawsuit filed earlier this week were state attorneys general from Texas, Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. The District of Columbia is part of the lawsuit challenging the proposed merger as well.
"This transaction would result in consumers paying the price – in higher airfares, higher fees and fewer choices. Today’s action proves our determination to fight for the best interests of consumers by ensuring robust competition in the marketplace," said Attorney General Eric Holder.
According to the department's complaint, the merger would result in four major airlines controlling more than 80 percent of the commercial air travel market within the United States. If approved, the newly merged airline would control up to 69 percent of the take-off and landing slots at Reagan National Airport, which the department claims would result in higher air fare prices for Washington D.C.-area travelers.
In a joint statement, both US Airways and American Airlines stated they will "mount a vigorous defense and pursue all legal options in order to achieve this merger."