Mea Culpa. I forgot that with the redesign of the new blog, the Twitter feed was removed. As a result, I’ve received a number of inquiries as to why I have been “so quiet” in regard to the DOJ’s lawsuit against the proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines.
I would suggest that you follow my comments on Twitter at @planebusiness. I have been anything but quiet.
In addition, I had already alerted subscribers last week that this week’s issue would be posted later than usual this week — so we could get through today’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing in New York and have time to comment on that. That hearing is now on lunch recess, and will continue in about an hour from now.
Meanwhile, short and sweet? I see nothing in the DOJ suit that was filed earlier this week that tells me they have a case that will stand up before a judge. I believe that this is a “political line in the sand” that has been drawn by the DOJ — in an attempt to make themselves look like they are protecting the American consumer. It has nothing to do with the way in which the airline merger would or would not affect the consumer space. In fact, a rejection of this merger would do just the opposite. It would hurt the ability of both US Airways and American Airlines to compete both domestically and internationally. That does nothing to help the consumer.
Consumers don’t want a duopoly in the U.S airline industry. But that is what the DOJ seems to think would be preferable. Three is always better than two — and four is even better. Yes, unlike the DOJ, which ignored completely the fact that Southwest Airlines is the largest U.S. domestic carrier in the U.S. — they are, in fact, the largest domestic carrier in the U.S. We don’t ignore them, or their contribution to the competitive landscape.
More on all of this in this week’s PlaneBusiness Banter. We will publish on Friday this week.
In the meantime, I highly suggest a MUST READ. Brett Snyder, aka Cranky Flier, PBB analyst and Contributing Editor has posted an analysis of the DOJ complaint today on his blog. Read it.
Talk to you again tomorrow.