US Airways, American Airlines and the U.S. Department of Justice disclosed Monday that they’ve picked a mediator to see if they can resolve any or all issues in the DOJ lawsuit seeking to block the air carriers’ merger.
…It is common in lawsuits for judges to urge the warring parties to present their cases to a mediator in hopes of resolving the issues before trial.
It always seemed as though anti-trust issues could be settled by the parties outside of Court – that this proposed merger proposed far fewer competitive issues than most in aviation; that divesting some slots at Washington National plus some unspecified vague promises would get government buy-in.
The lawsuit was a surprise, not just to me (as someone who hoped the merger wouldn’t happen) but virtually everyone in the airline industry I’ve spoken to. And there never seemed to be much int he way of conversations or a path towards an amicable resolution.
This process, standard and suggested by the Court, could amount to nothing but is at a minimum now a path towards an outcome other than each party rolling the dice on all or nothing.