(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into potential price collusion among airlines, action requested by Blumenthal in a letter sent to the Department last month:
“I am pleased that the Department of Justice has heeded my call to investigate anti-competitive conduct in the airline industry.
“This investigation must be tireless and timely to save consumers from the onslaught of price increases in summer fares that may result from collusive and anticompetitive airline company misconduct. What airlines publicly call "discipline" is just a fancy term for constraining the flights available to consumers and raising prices and profits-- which should be the investigation's sharp focus. The ongoing inquiry should target the potential misuse of market power and anticompetitive misconduct, evidenced by recent pricing patterns as well as remarks at the recent IATA conference that appear coordinated to punish Southwest Airline’s announcement of capacity increases.
“Just four major airlines now account for eighty percent of all domestic air travel. DOJ itself played a part in this consolidation by approving several mergers and now consumers are paying sky-high fares, as airlines keep capacity artificially low in a market with a history of collusive behavior.”