National Consumers League

DOT green lights more concentration, less competition in American-Qantas alliance

July 24, 2019

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242, or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), America’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, is disappointed in the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) decision to approve a grant of antitrust immunity to a new international alliance between American Airlines and Qantas Airways. The following statement is attributable to Sally Greenberg, NCL executive director:  

“In 2016, the Obama DOT found that an American-Qantas tie-up would ‘reduce competition and consumer choice.’ Less than three years later, the Trump DOT has decided that the American-Qantas alliance will be ‘procompetitive’ and 'likely to generate substantial benefits for the traveling public’ in the U.S.-Australia market. We are at a loss to understand how allowing the Big Three airline alliances to control 86 percent of the U.S.-Australia market will generate substantial benefits for flyers. This decision is yet more evidence that the Trump DOT is intent on putting the interests of big airlines ahead of the interests of the flying public. The woeful absence of competition in the airline industry today has led to higher prices, poor service, and nowhere for the flying public to go. This decision only adds insult to injury for consumers.”

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.