The US District Court for the District of Massachusetts sides with the DOJ to halt an alliance in the airline industry (American Airlines / JetBlue)

Justice Department Statements on District Court Ruling Enjoining American Airlines and JetBlue’s Northeast Alliance*

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter for the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division issued the following statements today regarding the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts’s ruling in favor of the Justice Department and the Attorneys General of six states and the District of Columbia in their civil antitrust lawsuit to stop the Northeast Alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue:

Today’s decision is a win for Americans who rely on competition between airlines to travel affordably,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department will continue to protect competition and enforce our antitrust laws in the heavily consolidated airline industry and across every industry.”

We are pleased with the court’s decision. The outcome of this litigation recognizes the value of competition in the airline industry,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “We are grateful to our state law enforcement partners and the dedicated and talented Antitrust Division staff that investigated and tried this important case.”

The court’s decision follows a multi-week trial that began in September 2022. The Justice Department sued to stop American Airlines and JetBlue from continuing the Northeast Alliance. The Northeast Alliance is a series of agreements between American Airlines and JetBlue through which the two airlines have consolidated their operations in Boston and New York City. The court ruled that JetBlue and American Airlines’ decision to stop competing in Boston and New York, where they are major players, violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act because it increased fares and reduced choice for American travelers in many domestic markets for scheduled air passenger service.

*This is the original title of the press release. The title above has been amended in order to match the e-Competitions format. Individual authors are welcome to provide original independent commentaries on the case law. Articles are subject to approval by the Board of e-Competitions Bulletin before publication based on the Editorial Policy (click here).

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US Department of Justice Antitrust Division, The US District Court for the District of Massachusetts sides with the DOJ to halt an alliance in the airline industry (American Airlines / JetBlue), 19 May 2023, e-Competitions May 2023 - II, Art. N° 112633

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