Government attorneys argued on Thursday that American Airlines and US Airways should not be allowed to view internal documents on how the U.S. Department of Justice analyzed the pending merger between the airlines.
In filings made in federal court, DOJ lawyers said how the government analyzed and approved previous airline mergers are irrelevant to its current antitrust case against the American-US Airways merger.
"Defendants explicitly seek Plaintiffs’ “own analysis” (Motion at 4) of facts when evaluating the legality of the proposed mergers and determining whether to challenge them in court. Such confidential assessments and internal deliberations are plainly privileged and no court has ever ordered similar disclosures by federal antitrust enforcement officials (or by state officials), as far as we know," the filing said.
The DOJ also told the court that American and US Airways attorneys are not entitled to third-party interviews the department conducted while it investigated the merger.
"The Supreme Court has held that an interrogatory constituting a 'naked, general demand' for all facts learned in non-party interviews—the very interrogatory Defendants propound here—necessarily reveal the opinions and mental processes of counsel, and therefore is improper," a second filing said.