Is the Justice Department Picking on American, US Airways?

US Airways Plane 2

While the U.S. Department of Justice prepares its case against the proposed merger of US Airways (NYSE:LCC) and American Airlines (AAMRQ.PK), parties from both corporations are becoming aggressive in their counteroffensive. According to a report by The Philadelphia Inquirer, attorneys for the airlines are asking for documents pertaining to recent mergers in hopes of proving the DOJ is picking on the two of them, and unfairly so.

Both sides are gearing up for what will be a contentious battle in federal courts, should they not settle on terms beforehand. According to a court filing, American and US Airways requested documents showing how mergers like the one between United (NYSE:UAL) and Continental were allowed safe passage while the US-AA merger appears to have a bull’s eye from the DOJ. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer report, the airlines cited four mergers over eight years that have gotten DOJ approval.

“Each time, DOJ issued press releases explaining that, after careful consideration, it had determined that the merger would enhance competition in the airline industry and benefit the traveling public,” the newspaper quotes the filing. For its part, the DOJ contends that those approvals were hastily done, and airline passengers are presently feeling the brunt of higher prices as a result.