[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Judiciary Committees, issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit to block an alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue Airways over competition concerns:
“The DOJ is right to challenge this airline alliance. The American-JetBlue agreement raises flagrant red flags for competition in the already supremely consolidated airline industry. I have raised significant concerns that this type of anticompetitive coordination at critical air traffic hubs could lead to fewer small carriers, scarcer flight choices, higher ticket prices, and increased costs for passengers who are already squeezed by airlines at every turn. The DOJ must now vigorously pursue this case—in accordance with President Biden’s aggressive action to stamp out anticompetitive behavior—to ensure consumers are shielded from the harms of rising monopoly power in our economy.”
Last week, Blumenthal sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg, calling on the agency to address significant concerns raised by further consolidation in the airline industry created by the agreement. Blumenthal urged DOT to ensure the agency’s decision on the airlines’ agreement is consistent with President Joe Biden’s recent Executive Order on Competition, which was issued earlier this year to protect consumers from the negative effects of rising concentration and monopoly power in the U.S. economy.