Airports will file briefs in lawsuit

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and three other airports dominated by American Airlines and US Airways say they’ll be hurt if the carriers can’t merge, and now they’ll get a chance to make their case to a federal judge.

The judge hearing the government’s antitrust lawsuit against the merger granted the airports’ request to file a friend-of-the-court statement in the case. A trial is scheduled to start Nov. 25 in U.S. district court in Washington.

The request was filed Monday by DFW Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International and the city of Philadelphia, which operates Philadelphia International Airport.

David Magaña, DFW spokesman, said the airports expect to formally file the brief in support of the merger by mid-November.

According to Monday’s filing, the brief will provide “unique information and perspective” regarding the pending merger, and how blocking the merger will be a detriment to the traveling public, labor, the airports and their communities.

“Due to the merger’s positive ramifications for competition generally, as well the benefits it will provide for each of the [airports] and their respective communities, [the airports] have a substantial interest in this case and their perspectives are relevant to its disposition,” the filing said.

The U.S. Justice Department sued in August to block the merger, saying that the deal would limit competition and drive up consumer prices.

The airports said they can show that blocking the merger would hurt domestic and international competition “to the detriment of the traveling public and labor, as well as to airports and their local communities.”

Also on Monday, unsecured creditors of American’s parent, AMR Corp., asked to weigh in on the lawsuit. The creditors, including American’s three labor unions, said blocking the merger would complicate AMR’s recovery from bankruptcy protection.

Staff writer Sandra Baker contributed to this report.

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