The following is a letter sent to employees from American Airlines CEO Tom Horton.
Dear American Team,
Today we learned the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will oppose our pending merger with US Airways. I wanted to quickly let you know the implications of this decision and to explain what’s next.
As you probably know, this merger in the context of a restructuring, has been a very complex undertaking. It has formed the basis for an unusually successful restructuring, with very positive outcomes for our people, our customers, our owners and the communities we serve. But, it was also subject to a number of approvals including US Airways shareholders, AMR creditors, the Court, and the United States and European Union regulatory authorities. The US Airways and AMR financial stakeholders have voted overwhelmingly in support of the merger and the EU approved the merger. We always expected U.S. regulatory approval to be the final hurdle to clear.
We and our counterparts at US Airways have been working with the DOJ staff for months to ensure that they had an informed view of the merger. We have maintained that the merger is complementary (only 12 overlapping routes), that it provides significant customer benefits and that it enhances competition in the airline industry.
Since the DOJ has formed a contrary view, the matter will now be settled by the courts. The DOJ has filed a lawsuit in federal district court to enjoin the proposed merger. We and US Airways will vigorously defend our position. While we do not yet know how long the court process will run, it will likely take a few months.
In the meantime, American and US Airways will continue to operate as independent companies and competitors. All recent leadership announcements for the new merged American will be on hold until such time as the merger receives final clearance.
Throughout this restructuring, the people of American have stayed focused on caring for our customers day in and day out. And the results speak for themselves. American is again strong, profitable and competitive as evidenced by our record-setting second quarter results. As we work through the court process to clear our merger, let’s keep building the momentum of the new American.
Thanks for all you do.