Klobuchar asks for “thorough review” of American Airlines-US Airways merger

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s subcommittee plans to hold hearings next month on the impact of the latest airline mega-merger and has asked the Department of Justice and Department of Transportation to look into the effect past mergers have had on competition, prices and service for the traveling public.

Klobuchar was recently named the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee. She and the panel’s top Republican, Mike Lee of Utah, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Tuesday calling for an economic analysis of the planned merger between American Airlines and US Airways.

Such government analyses are common for mergers of this size so the request is not much of a stretch for the agencies. Klobuchar and Lee sounded a slightly skeptical note about the merger’s touted benefits.

“It will likewise be critical to determine whether the airlines have realized the efficiencies they claimed as the basis for the mergers,” the pair wrote.

The hearings will take place on March 19th.The airlines hope to complete the merger by the end of September.