Sunday, July 26, 2009

N.Y. Times on Antitrust Enforcement and the Airlines

There is a fascinating story on the front page of today's New York Times discussing the new enforcement aims of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division and the resistance it is meeting from within the Obama Administration.  See Stephen Labaton, Antitrust Chief Hits Resistance in Crackdown, N.Y. Times, July 26, 2009 (available here).  Both railroad giants and airlines have signaled out by the DOJ as part of its desired crackdown.

The story contains a succinct briefing on the recent controversy caused by the DOJ's involvement in Continental's application to the Department of Transportation for antitrust immunity to join the Star Alliance and notes that the interagency strife caused by the proceeding prompted Obama's economic advisor, Lawrence Summers, to mediate the dispute.  Also intriguing is the article's mention that the House Judiciary Committee is preparing to hold a hearing on the application in the near future.  The outcome of that hearing could indicate the extent to which the DOJ will continue its involvement in airline alliance applications.

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