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Domestic Airline Travel

Related Lawyers: Michael D. Hausfeld, Hilary K. Scherrer, Jeannine M. Kenney, Michael P. Lehmann, Seth R. Gassman, Molly C. Kenney, Halli Spraggins
Related Practice Areas: Antitrust / Competition

In re Domestic Airline Travel Antitrust Litigation, Misc. No. 15-1404 (CKK) (D.D.C.)

On July 2, 2015, Hausfeld filed one of the first antitrust class action complaints in the country on behalf of domestic air passengers alleging that the four major U.S. passenger air carriers—United, American, Delta and Southwest—conspired to artificially inflate domestic airfares by, inter alia, colluding to restrict their respective capacity. Dozens of subsequent class cases were filed.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred the cases to the Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington, D.C. federal court for coordinated pretrial proceedings. On February 4, 2016, she appointed Hausfeld co-lead interim counsel on behalf of the putative class. On March 25, 2016, the Plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended class complaint. The Complaint alleges that Defendants, in which a common set of investors owned significant shares during the conspiracy period, carried out the conspiracy through repeated assurances to each other on earnings calls and through other statements, and at meetings of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that each would restrain their capacity through “capacity discipline”.

Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint, and the court denied their motion on October 28, 2016. Since that time, Plaintiffs have secured $60 million in settlements with Defendants American and Southwest. The litigation against United and Delta is ongoing.