A U.S. District Court allows challenge to alleged conspiracy formed through public statements (AirTran, Delta)

A recent court decision on alleged “signaling” of competitive plans between airlines highlights the antitrust risks of making detailed public statements about future business plans. On August 2, 2010, a federal district court in Atlanta refused to dismiss an airline passenger class action alleging that AirTran and Delta agreed-through statements made in analyst calls, speeches, and airline industry conferences-to coordinate capacity, fares, and fees. AirTran and Delta are each other's primary competitor on routes to and from Atlanta. According to the plaintiffs' complaint, in 2008 AirTran initiated a six-month dialogue with Delta on competitive plans, not through direct communication, but through carefully-timed public statements. The complaint details a series of statements made by

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Geoffrey D. Oliver, Bruce McDonald, Kathryn M. Fenton, A U.S. District Court allows challenge to alleged conspiracy formed through public statements (AirTran, Delta), 2 août 2010, e-Competitions August 2010, Art. N° 33663

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