American Airlines and JetBlue Airways asked a US judge on Monday to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Justice Department and six states over the company’s “Northeast Alliance” partnership.
The suit alleges he deal would lead to higher fares in busy Northeastern US airports and seeks to unwind the alliance. The airlines said Monday the alliance has been in place for nine months but the suit does “not allege that it has caused a single higher price, any reduction in quality or the slightest reduction in output.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland said the lawsuit was about ensuring fair competition that lets Americans fly at affordable prices.
“In an industry where just four airlines control more than 80% of domestic air travel, American Airlines’ ‘alliance’ with JetBlue is, in fact, an unprecedented maneuver to further consolidate the industry,” Garland said in a statement. “It would result in higher fares, fewer choices, and lower quality service if allowed to continue.”
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