Monday, July 13, 2009
Prof. Brian Havel, Director of the International Aviation Law Institute, was quoted in Saturday's edition of the Chicago Tribune concerning the recent decision of the Department of Transportation to grant approval and broad (though not absolute) antitrust immunity for Continental Airlines to join the Star Alliance. See Julie Johnson, Continental OKd to Fly With United; Transportation Officials Prevail on Antitrust Issue, Chi. Tribune, July 11, 2009, at C12 (available here). On the matter of the Department of Justice's strong opposition to any broad grant of antitrust immunity to the venture, Havel stated that it amounts to "a great interagency battle." "The power that DOT has here is unprecedented. It definitely aggravates people at DOJ." No official word has yet come down from the Justice Department concerning the DOT's ruling.