When I hear "significant divestitures," I think the gov't is still being unrealistic and treating LCC worse than it treated DAL, CAL and LUV on their acquisitions. It makes me think they'll have to beat the gov't in court.
Obviously, somebody thinks they know something more than what was publicly said here.
"The Justice Department is pressing for divestitures at airports throughout the United States as a condition for dropping a lawsuit aimed at stopping a proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Monday."
DOJ does not want to go to court. This judge in granting an early trial sent a message to DOJ to settle, IMO. DOJ will have a hard time explaining why it is against this merger and was for other airline mergers. Their argument about changing circumstances in a different time period DOES NOT explain why DOJ didn't intervene in the American Airlines BK and put a stop to the merger at that time so American could pursue a BK strategy that did not include merger.
If DOJ had done that I am not so sure American could have emerged from BK as an independent airline. Creditors, unions, and all other third parties gave to make this work. New credit and leases were established on the basis of the merger on terms that American could have never gotten as a BK independent coming out of BK as an independent again. A lot of people relied on the merger and if it does not go through they relied on the merger out of BK to their detriment because American got terms far more favorable than they ever could have gotten on their own. Not only that, millions of legal fees were expended on a singular BK strategy associated with the merger. At a minimum, IMO, DOJ owed the BK court the opportunity to consider a bifurcated BK strategy... a merger BK and an independent BK process. I think DOJ needs to be more afraid of being embarrassed in court and getting nothing if the court decides a lot of money has been expended unnecessarily and USAir should be able to retain its assets as a penalty against the government for its own very bad behavior.
Oh, I fully believe that the DOJ's lawsuit is both misguided and stupid. But that was obvious when they filed it. What has happened today that suggests they want to be logical and reasonable? Calling for "significant divestitures" is neither logical nor reasonable. Now it very well may be that they're prepared to take little and "declare victory" -- which, as I've said in the past -- would be a very smart strategy for them to undertake. But what have they done today to suggest that they will take that path? I'm not seeing it in the public information. There seems to me to be an equal chance that they will continue to be unreasonable, and that this case will have to (stupidly) go to trial.