WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice issued the following statement today after the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued its order involving US Airways’ and Delta Airlines’ acquisition of slots at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport:
“The Antitrust Division has been conducting an investigation of US Airways’ acquisition of Delta Airlines’ slots at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport to determine the transaction’s impact on competition and traveling consumers. The division will continue its investigation with a focus on the increase in US Airways’ share and use of slots at Reagan National and the resulting decrease in Delta’s share of slots at this slot-constrained airport, at which passengers pay among the highest fares in the country. The division will not continue to investigate the acquisition of slots at New York’s LaGuardia Airport because the division has concluded that acquisition does not raise competitive concerns.
“While the Antitrust Division works closely with DOT on airline issues, the two agencies act under substantially different statutory and regulatory frameworks. The role of the Antitrust Division is to protect competition and to ensure that companies do not raise prices to harm consumers in violation of the antitrust laws. Under the antitrust laws, the division can and will take appropriate action, if warranted, at the conclusion of its investigation.”