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June 28, 2013

DOJ takes depositions as it investigates merger between American and US Airways

The U.S. Justice Department is taking depositions as it analyzes the proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways, according to this report from Reuters.

Executives at the two carriers and at the DOJ are discussing whether or not the new company should sell slots at Washington D.C.'s Reagan National Airport. 

"The fact that the Justice Department is taking sworn testimony in the form of depositions indicates it has concerns that the proposed merger creates antitrust problems. Depositions will be needed if the agency approves the deal with conditions or, in rare cases, if it decides to try to stop it. The department could also decide to approve the merger without requiring asset sales," the Reuters article says.

The merger is expected to close in September but still needs government regulatory approval. The shareholders of US Airways are expected to vote on the merger at their shareholder meeting on July 12.

At a Congressional hearing earlier this month, US Airways chief executive Doug Parker testified that he does not believe the combined company should have to divest slots at Reagan and if it did, it could mean fewer flights to small and medium-sized cities.

-Andrea Ahles

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