Less competition equates with less capacity and higher overall prices for customers. American Airlines and US Airways, however, have not given up. The pair plan to take their case to court, claiming customers will ultimately win by gaining greater choice and lower prices.
The Department of Justice points to a reduction in carriers that will result in just the opposite - higher fares. The Department cites as examples other industries where consolidation has routinely hurt consumers.
A government review has found that the merger would reduce competition over the span of 1,600 routes visited by 53 million passengers. American Airlines and US Airways claim that their routes, however, overlap on just 12 nonstop routes.
Congress "must make sure that the advantages of a strong aviation sector benefit more than just shareholders," said Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va in a statement.
For more news on the merger, visit the Dallas News' Aviation blog.