American Airlines Says DOJ's Antitrust Complaint On Northeast Alliance Without Merit - Quick Facts

American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) said in a filing with the U.S. SEC on Wednesday that the antitrust complaint filed by the U.S Department of Justice (DoJ) and Attorneys General from six states and the District of Columbia is without merit and will defend itself vigorously.

The complaint was filed against American Airlines and JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU), alleging violation of U.S. antitrust laws in connection with the previously disclosed Northeast Alliance (NEA) arrangement.

American noted that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a Clarification Notice relating to the agreement that had been reached between the DOT, American, and JetBlue in January 2021, at the conclusion of DoT's review of the NEA.

The DOT Clarification Notice stated, among other things, that the NEA remains in force during the pendency of the DoJ action and, while the DOT retains independent statutory authority to prohibit unfair methods of competition in air transportation, the DOT intends to defer to DoJ to resolve the antitrust concerns that DoJ has identified with respect to the NEA.

DOT simultaneously published a Notice Staying Proceeding in relation to a complaint by Spirit Airlines, Inc. regarding the NEA, pending resolution of the DoJ action.

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