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November 08, 2013

Judge allows Southwest to file brief in American-US Airways antitrust suit

Judge Collen Kollar-Kotelly granted Southwest Airlines' request to file a "friend of the court" brief in the American Airlines-US Airways antitrust suit.

The Dallas-based carrier had asked the judge for amicus curiae status on Thursday saying that the U.S. Department of Justice and both airlines had given their consent for Southwest to file a brief.

"Southwest will explain how -- without a significant divestiture of slots at each of these airports in conjunction with the merger – the increased concentration of slots in the hands of the merged airline would substantially lessen competition," Southwest said in its filing. "Those anti-competitive effects could be mitigated only if a significant number of slots were divested to Southwest so it could bring the Southwest Effect to more routes served from DCA and LGA."

The carrier also said the Justice Department has already produced 150,000 Southwest documents to the court as part of the pre-trial actions and that a senior Southwest representative was already deposed as part of the anti-trust suit.

Southwest has reportedly indicated to the Justice Department that it would be interested in purchasing take-off and landing slots at Reagan National and LaGuardia airports if American and US Airways are required to divest the slots as part of a settlement agreement with the government.

-Andrea Ahles


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Rich Tortora

Ahhh, so now you want the government to get involved. But when you had the Wright amendment to contend with, you were all for the free market. Get another aircraft type or try to fly international, and you'll feel our pain, Southwest.

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