Lee Statement on US Airways, American Airlines Merger

February 14, 2013

Today, Senator Lee, ranking member on the Antitrust Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on the proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines:
“Mergers are an essential element of our rapidly changing economy, often creating significant efficiencies and helping ensure that resources are put to their most productive use,” said Senator Lee.  “In a competitive market, consumers benefit from these efficiencies in the form of high quality products and services at low prices.  Absent evidence that a transaction will substantially reduce competition and thereby harm consumers, I believe government intervention is usually unjustified.
“The proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines has potential to benefit the air travel industry as well as consumers.  At the same time, a transaction of this size, which will result in the nation’s largest carrier, poses potential risks for the market.  In recent years, the airline industry has become increasingly consolidated and this merger would reduce the number of major carriers to four.
“Antitrust officials must ensure that an additional merger of this magnitude would not lead to higher passenger fares, result in diminished service to regional markets, or allow for coordinated conduct among rivals.  I look forward to joining Senator Klobuchar in a thorough review of this transaction and providing oversight of antitrust regulators as they do the same.”