US Airways & American: Necessary lawsuit
We've been editorializing for the past year against the merger of US Airways and American Airlines. It's good to see the Justice Department finally catch up to reality.
Justice, and attorneys general of six states, including Pennsylvania, filed an antitrust lawsuit against the $11 billion deal on Tuesday. The merger, which would create the world's largest airline, would decrease competition and raise fares, the lawsuit alleges.
It also would kill jobs secured through taxpayer subsidies invariably billed as “investments in (insert the name of your city here).”
Sure to be on the chopping block is US Airways' flight operations center in Pittsburgh, built with millions of dollars in public assistance. Some fear a heavy maintenance facility at Pittsburgh International Airport, which US Airways abandoned as a hub years ago, also could be shuttered.
But the real nub of the rub was stated quite succinctly last winter by Forbes.com columnist Peter Cohan, who said “the pro-merger chest-pounding can't hide the fact that combining two losing companies does not make a winner.” Or as Stanford University business scholar Jeffrey Pfeffer put it, such mergers “just increase market concentration, raise prices and make customers worse off.” All combining one troubled airline with another gets you “is a larger catastrophe,” he said then.
The flying public — and taxpayers who've underwritten so much of the airline industry's follies and been shafted — deserve better.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.