Consumer News Release
For immediate release -- July 27, 2001.
Contact Bill Roach 515-281-5536
Statement by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller On A Lawsuit to Block the United Airlines - US Airways Merger
The State of Iowa and eleven other states joined the U.S. Justice Department today in announcing that they would sue to block United Airlines from acquiring US Airways. "The State of Iowa will join that lawsuit because we believe the merger would reduce competition, raise fares, and harm Iowa consumers," Miller said.
"Vigorous airline competition is vital to everyone flying in or out of Iowa," Miller said. "It is important for both business and leisure travelers who ultimately will have to pay higher fares and accept less service if competition is not maintained."
"Competition is what we need in the U.S. airline industry and this proposed merger of the nation's second and sixth largest airlines would only reduce competition," Miller said. "United would have a monopoly or near-monopoly on over 30 routes if the merger is successful. US Airways is United's most significant competitor in many key markets used by Iowans such as Washington, D.C., other northeast cities, and the Denver hub."
The U.S. Justice Department and a group of State Attorneys General have been cooperating in an investigation of this transaction since it was announced last year. This spring, the airlines asked to delay action on the proposed merger but earlier this month they said they intended to proceed. The lawsuit by the states and U.S. Department of Justice, which will be filed soon, is a result of the airlines announcement they intend to continue with the merger.
Attorney General Miller is Chair of the Airline Working Group of 35 state Attorneys General. He has also been a leader among the states investigating this merger.
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