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Blumenthal Statement on DOJ Lawsuit to Block United Airlines’s Monopolization of Newark Airport Slots

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, issued the following today after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it filed a lawsuit to block a proposed transaction between United Airlines and Delta Airlines for slots at Newark Airport:

Today the Department of Justice restated in bold letters what travelers all over the country have been saying to airlines for years – ‘enough is enough.’ This suit to block the blatantly illegal deal between United and Delta by the DOJ is good news for travelers and consumers’ pockets – a significant blow against the monopolistic tactics of the already too-powerful legacy airlines.

“United Airlines operates more than 50 percent of nonstop flights offered to and from Newark Airport – an insidious monopoly that has forced the more than 35 million travelers who use Newark Airport annually to pay some of the highest fares in the country. The deal between United and Delta would have increased United’s dominance at Newark, significantly squashing the already-limited competition and enhancing the airline’s ability to force travelers into paying higher prices. I commend AAG Bill Baer and the DOJ for standing up for Newark travelers and I urge him to continue DOJ’s investigation into the entire airline industry for conspiring to hurt consumers by keeping airfares artificially inflated.