American-JetBlue Alliance Antitrust Case Gains Steam As Court Seeks More Documents

  • Lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department have spent weeks arguing that an alliance between American Airlines Group, Inc AAL and JetBlue Airways Corp JBLU would cost consumers $700 million. 
  • The government alleged that a partnership between American and JetBlue, known as the Northeast Alliance, would offer them outsized control over airport gates and flight slots in the region.
  • A government economist Nathan Miller said the government's estimate of consumer harm included only traffic at John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport but overlooked Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the region's busiest hubs, Bloomberg reports.
  • The U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin sought metrics illustrating changes within the two carriers' fleets and routes serving New York City and Boston before and since their Northeast Alliance took effect in early 2021.
  • He also asked for a list of the agreement's key provisions.
  • Senior airline executives from competitors testified that the alliance made it harder for them to compete in Boston and New York. 
  • The Justice Department sued American and JetBlue in 2021, terming the alliance as a "merger" that increased fares with reduced choice for passengers.
  • Price Action: AAL shares traded higher by 0.92% at $13.17 in the premarket on the last check Friday.
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