On August 13, the DOJ filed an antitrust complaint to stop the merger. The government said the deal was anti-competitive and would harm consumers.
"Americans spent more than $70 billion flying around the country last year. Increases in the price of airline tickets, checked bags or flight change fees resulting from this merger would result in hundreds of millions of dollars of harm to American consumers, " said assistant U.S. attorney general William Baer when the suit was announced.
Of particular concern was take-off and landing slots at Washington Reagan National where the merged airline would control over two-thirds of the slots.
The airline executives said they would vigorously defend their merger and pushed for an early trial date. The federal judge hearing the case agreed to a Thanksgiving trial with the expectation that a ruling would be made by early January.
Airline executives testifed before Congress saying the deal would be beneficial for consumers and hundreds of American and US Airways workers rallied at Capitol Hill in support of the deal.
After a few months of negotiations, the two sides reached a deal, announcing on November 12 a settlement had been reached.
American and US Airways agreed to divest 52 take-off and landing slot pairs at Washington Reagan and 17 slot pairs at New York's LaGuardia airport. It would also give up a couple of gates at five airports including Dallas Love Field.
"These divestitures, while something we wish we weren't doing, don't come close to have any impact on a [market share] chart because it's just not that big," said then-US Airways chief executive Doug Parker.
With the legal challenge against the merger cleared, the two airlines headed towards a December merger date.