Alaska Airlines Faces Federal Lawsuit Over Planned Merger With Hawaiian Airlines

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As Alaska Airlines works to complete its acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines, the carrier is now facing a consumer lawsuit in the United States, which says the merger will result in higher pricing, job layoffs, and fewer flights.

The case was brought in Hawaiian federal court by eight airline passengers from Hawaii, California, and other states, as well as numerous former travel agents.

The dissatisfied travelers believe Alaska Airlines’ proposed $1.9 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines “will unlawfully harm air travel competition in violation of U.S. antitrust law.”

The aggrieved passengers stated in the case that “the current trend toward concentration, the lessening of competition, and the tendency to create a monopoly in the airlines industry is unmatched, unparalleled, and dangerous.”

An Alaska Airlines official responded saying that federal consumer cases like the one it is currently facing are a “normal occurrence in public company mergers.” Hawaiian Airlines declined to comment on the situation.

Alaska Airlines overcome a major obstacle in its quest to buy Hawaiian Airlines in February when owners of both businesses approved the merger. The two carriers also negotiated a time agreement with the Department of Justice, as part of the review process.

The timing agreement indicates that Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines have cooperated with a request for additional information on the planned merger and will leave the final decision to approve or veto the merger to the Department of Justice.

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