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Bondi joins federal suit to block airline merger

Attorney General Pam Bondi made a name for herself leading the lawsuit against the federal health care law, but today she and the feds are on the same side. Bondi and six other attorneys general have joined the federal lawsuit that alleges the proposed merger between U.S. Airways and American airlines would decrease competition and lead to higher fares.

“This merger would be anti-competitive and harmful to consumers, with 20 percent of the problematic flight routes affecting Florida. By filing this lawsuit, we hope to save consumers from potential multi-million dollar increases in prices and fees,” Bondi said in a press release.

Here is the full press release from Bondi's office:

Attorney General Pam Bondi today joined a coalition of six other attorneys general and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division in the filing of a federal lawsuit to stop a proposed merger that would make a combined U.S. Airways/American Airlines the largest worldwide carrier. If approved, the merger would reduce the current number of the larger “legacy” airlines from four to three–U.S. Airways/American, United/Continental and Delta/Northwest. Even a small increase in the price of tickets, checked bag fees, or flight change fees, as a result of the merger could cost Americans millions of dollars. The complaint alleges that US Airways’ proposed merger with American Airlines violates the Clayton Antitrust Act, specifically Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 18.

“This merger would be anti-competitive and harmful to consumers, with 20 percent of the problematic flight routes affecting Florida. By filing this lawsuit, we hope to save consumers from potential multi-million dollar increases in prices and fees,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.

American and US Airways compete directly on thousands of heavily traveled nonstop and connecting routes. If this merger is completed, consumers will face decreased competition and increased prices because airlines can cut service and raise prices with less fear of competitive responses from rivals.

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