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September 26, 2013

DOJ says American-US Airways shouldn't get to see government analysis of merger

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.

Click here to download the DOJ's response motion internal analysis and to download the DOJ's response to the request for third-party interviews.

-Andrea Ahles

 

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Comments

mike

doj is sooooooooo desperate to hide their crooked filing...this has been smelling like rotten fish from the beginning....its def political...duh

Raf

The DOJ wants to conduct a trial by ambush in which US Airways and American Airlines does not get to see beforehand the evidence that DOJ will present before the judge during the trial itself. They know that their case is so weak that they do not want the reliability of the data and analysis that they want to present to be questioned for its reliability as to whether such data and analysis is accurate and provides a sound foundation for the charges they have leveled against the proposed merger. The data and analysis along with the witnesses the that Justice Departments wants to hide from the defendant’s attorneys for review and questioning is reminiscent of strategies used in countries like Russia and North Korea where the validity of the charges brought by the Justice Department would remain unimpeachable and unassailable. If the DOJ is truly working in defense and protection of the American consumer why are they trying to hide their witnesses and their data from the review of the defense attorney’s? Anyone with the minimal amount of common sense knows that when you are doing the right thing there is nothing that one needs to hide.

Raf

I think it is funny to hear the DOJ refer to the previous mergers as years ago and that they are completely irrelevant.

2010?????

Years ago????

The airline industry has changed that much, that dramatically since 2010?

Who are they kidding?

I think this falls into the same category as “dog ate my homework”!

Raf

In the Dallas News it said that the attorneys for American Airlines and US Airways are trying to find out which of the competitor egged on the DOJ to stop the merger. It is not a secret that the same airlines that stand to lose their number one and two spots have been pulling some of the strings behind the curtain. There has been activity that has been detected that seems to confirm that this to be the case. Can you imagine the scandal that would erupt if the DOJ was caught trying to orchestrate an outcome that would prevent and stop the very the competition that they claim so loudly to protect and encourage.

Raf

One major financial online news source stated that there might be a mole in the group of people talking to the DOJ which the airlines attorneys would like to identify.

Is that legal for the DOJ to do?

Can they do that?

Now I am wondering if the events leading to the merger trial is going to be the DOJ's Bengazi scandal. Some of the stuff this administration has done in the recent past has already raised some eyebrows.

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