October 1, 2022
American, JetBlue Must Face Antitrust Suit by US, States

JetBlue Airways Corp. and American Airlines Group Inc. must face antitrust litigation from the Justice Department and several states after a federal judge denied the companies’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The US government’s complaint plausibly alleged that the alliance between the airlines, dubbed the Northeast Alliance, is likely to harm competition, Judge Leo S. Sorokin of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts wrote Thursday in his denial of the motion.

Other issues raised in the airlines’ dismissal motion—such as the definition of the New York market and whether the alliance will increase competition that otherwise wouldn’t be achievable—are best resolved through later proceedings, Sorokin said.

“The Complaint alleges—plausibly and in a manner that is neither conclusory nor threadbare—that the alliance at issue between American and JetBlue is likely to harm competition in the relevant markets, and that American and JetBlue control a significant share in an already concentrated market,” Sorokin wrote.

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