Consumers file suit against American-US Airways merger

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Consumers represented by antitrust attorney Joseph Alioto have filed suit to stop the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways in a San Francisco court.

The suit alleges that the combination would result in higher fares, less service and capacity, job cuts and the creation of "monopolies for passenger air traffic from and to major cities", in a brief filed with the US District Court of the Northern District of California on 2 July.

"It would complete the airline cartel, giving the top four airlines over 90% control of the airline industry in the US," says Alioto in a statement. "They have already shown their willingness and cupidity by raising prices in lockstep, cutting services, eliminating capacity, which will require the American public to pay more for less and to accept discomfort and inconvenience as a regular routine."

He has also filed previous suits to block the Southwest Airlines-AirTran Airways, United Airlines-Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines-Northwest Airlines mergers.

The suit names 38 plaintiffs, all of whom are travellers and travel agents, and only US Airways as defendant, which is due to American's current protection under chapter 11 bankruptcy.