And there’s no way to spin this as anything other than a major retreat by the Obama Justice Department. Three months ago, the DOJ sued, claiming the deal was systematically anticompetitive. It’s hard to imagine a way to settle antitrust lawsuit when you’re contending that a merger will increase fares for many flyers throughout much of the United States. Yet DOJ has somehow managed to do just that. They had better get some significant asset divestitures besides a few Washington Reagan National slots or they will look incredibly silly.
More later when we see what US Airways and American have actually agreed to give up to get DOJ’s blessing for the deal.