Southwest to file brief in AMR-US case

Washington DC
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Southwest Airlines will file a brief on the potential competitive impact of an American Airlines and US Airways merger in the US government’s case challenging the deal.

The US District Court for the District of Columbia approved the request on 7 November, requiring the Dallas-based low-cost carrier (LCC) to file its amicus curiae brief by 15 November.

An amicus curiae brief is one from a party not involved in the direct proceedings of a case but with information that may assist the court in its decision.

Southwest will address the “likely competitive effects of the merger between US Airways Group and AMR Corporation”, according to the request it filed with the court on 7 November.

“Because the merger would concentrate slots at DCA [Ronald Reagan Washington National] and LGA [New York LaGuardia] in a combined airline that would restrict the availability of slots to Southwest and other LCCs that could provide meaningful competition, Southwest can provide the court with a unique and important perspective on the legal and competitive implications of the merger for air service at those airports,” the airline said in its request.

Southwest has said publicly that it is interested in acquiring any slots that a merged carrier might divest at LaGuardia and Washington National airports.

American, US Airways, the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and the six states plus Washington DC that are party to the government’s case consent to the brief from Southwest.