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October 10, 2013

Special Master says DOJ shouldn't give up list of interviewees to American and US Airways

In two filings made on Thursday, Special Master Richard Levie said the U.S. Department of Justice did not have to provide most of the work documents American Airlines and US Airways attorneys have requested as part of the pre-trial discovery process.

Levie, who is a retired judge, also recommended that federal judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly denies the airlines' attorneys requests to view lists of who the DOJ interviewed during its analysis of the proposed merger between American and US Airways.

"The Special Master determines that, although Defendants have established the relevance of their requests, the various privileges asserted by Plaintiffs protect almost all of the requested material from disclosure. Accordingly, the Special Master recommends that the Court grant in part and deny in party Defendants’ Motion," the filing said related to American's request for documents.

A trial in the government's antitrust case against the American-US Airways merger is scheduled for November 25.

Click here to download Special Master filing 1 and click here to  download Special Master filing 2

UPDATE: American and US Airways issued this joint statement:

"We are reviewing the Special Master’s ruling and will consider all of our options. We are confident in our legal position and our ability to win this case.  We look forward to becoming the new American so that we can compete together and deliver the significant benefits of this combination to consumers and all of our stakeholders as soon as possible."   

-Andrea Ahles



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So privilege trumps relevance? Then release those documents to the Judge for her eyes only. The DOJ i s not the defendant and anything of relevance should be introduced.


I agree with you. I saw that part of the Judge's reasoning which flies in the face of fair justice. How can he even argue that the documents are indeed legitimately relevant to the case AMR and US Air and with a straight face say they can’t have them because they are privileged. Of course the Judge can overrule his recommendations since he is not the one who will decide the matter but it is unfortunate that he will handicap the defense by hiding valuable evidence they need to prove their case.

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