Never underestimate the role of a maverick to competition: USA et al v. American Airlines Group Inc. et al

July 2, 2024
IP litigation and damages

In a recent article published in the Australian Journal of Competition and Consumer Law (AJCCL), CRA’s Yajing Jiang reviews the district court ruling in the case of USA et al v. American Airlines Group Inc. et al.

The case involves the Northeast Alliance (NEA), a joint venture between JetBlue and American Airlines. Jiang provides background on the joint venture, details the lawsuit brought by the DOJ, District of Columbia, and several states, and summarizes the key competitive arguments presented by both defendants and plaintiffs. She then offers an in-depth analysis of the judge’s analytical framework, highlighting the increased scrutiny on joint ventures involving revenue and capacity sharing. Additionally, Jiang notes the judge’s skepticism towards efficiency justifications, emphasizing concerns about the removal of a “maverick” that could enhance competition in the concentrated airline industry.

Key contacts