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DOJ Criticizes CAL UAL Immunity Request

NavinRJohnson

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From Business Travel News:


DOJ Slams DOT's Tentative Star Alliance Antitrust Approval

JUNE 29, 2009 --
The U.S. Department of Justice in a filing on Friday vigorously criticized the Department of Transportation's tentative approval of Continental Airlines' request for antitrust immunity with nine Star Alliance carriers. DOJ's filing not only further delays final approval, but could derail the immunity effort.

In a filing that spans more than 50 pages, DOJ blasted the immunity request and asked DOT to amend its tentative approval, issued in early April. DOJ noted, "DOT should deny the broad requested immunity and instead grant a more limited immunity," noting the tentative approval as it stands would reduce competition, raise fares, seep into domestic markets and offer little in the way of consumer benefits.

Continental last year laid out its plan to leave SkyTeam to tightly align with nine Star carriers through the immunity request, which was fortified by a proposed joint venture with Air Canada, Lufthansa and United (BTNonline, June 30, 2008).

The United States Attorney General Eric Holder earlier this month recommended U.S. authorities not grant antitrust immunity to Star Alliance members until DOJ finished its review of transatlantic airline competition. DOT has yet to issue a final order on the antitrust immunity application after missing its May 31 statutory deadline for a final decision (BTNonline, June 24).

DOJ in the filing dated June 26 concluded, "The immunity requested by the joint applicants is unprecedented in scope and breadth, sanctioning collusion by United and Continental on all international service, eliminating or significantly reducing competition between certain Star alliance members on routes where they provide the only—or almost all of—the competitive alternatives, and removing previously imposed protections designed to preserve competition on overlap routes."

DOT in a separate filing said it would give interested parties until July 6 to comment on DOJ's analysis, after which DOT would proceed in issuing a final order.

Continental in a statement today said it remains "confident that DOT will approve our application." The carrier said it would file a response to DOJ's published comments with DOT. "We appreciate that DOJ has submitted its comments, which will allow DOT to close the docket and move forward with the application," Continental noted.


I'm interested to see what the final immunity will look like. This could force a merger to compete with Delta, since broad immunity might not be in the cards.


 

Jetjockey

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I wonder if this has anything to do with UAL raising more cash? Getting ready for the marriage perhaps?
 

Scrapdog

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I wonder if this has anything to do with UAL raising more cash? Getting ready for the marriage perhaps?

Yep - I just heard from the girl at the hotel desk that the merger is happening FOR SURE today at 6 PM Eastern....no wait, I had a guy on the jumpseat that says it really will happen next Friday. Oh wait, I forgot - Kellner called me yesterday and said the merger is certain next month after his Friday golf game. It all makes sense right? United's books are a real peach right now...they've got multiple airbus's (which of course CAL has none), and their 757's are not compatible. Makes perfect sense.

It's all a big conspiracy!!! The sky is falling, the sky is falling. :rolleyes:
 

NuGuy

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Heyas,

If UAL wanted a merger, they missed the boat. The NWA/DAL merger was a shoe in because of the administration. The current administration is sure to do a complete rectal exam.

If CAL doesn't want a merger, but the DOJ blocks their anti-trust immunity, things may get complicated.

Nu
 

General Lee

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I guess the Gov't sees that you can't be "buddy buddy" and have all of those flights to China. You need to merge, and that's it. Have fun with that relative seniority merge.......


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

glasspilot

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You need to merge, and that's it. Have fun with that relative seniority merge.......


Bye Bye---General Lee


I predict in the next decade or so there will be MANY MANY mergers. If I were President of ALPA I would do my best to get all carriers into ALPA and then create a national seniority. I would also keep it secret and never post it on a forum.

Seriously, you may want to think about it seriously now before it's too late.
 

contrail67

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Heyas,

If UAL wanted a merger, they missed the boat. The NWA/DAL merger was a shoe in because of the administration. The current administration is sure to do a complete rectal exam.

If CAL doesn't want a merger, but the DOJ blocks their anti-trust immunity, things may get complicated.

Nu

So it might come down to merge or die?
 

NavinRJohnson

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Delta in 1 to 2 years is going to be very powerful once they fully integrate. Not trying to stroke their egos, but with their global scope it will attract a lot of business customers for one stop ticket shopping.

However, right now all their proverbial sh!t isn't in one sock as they bring it all together, so there is some breathing room. The rest of the carriers will have to do something that can compete on that scale. Either hire like there's no tomorrow and buy aircraft (highly doubtful), or merge.

This antitrust ruling will shape the future of the US airline industry. If passed the status quo may continue on for a while longer. If not, industry shakeups will happen and soon. No doubt about it.

Navin
 

whatitdoing?

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F***. I think this is another nail in my coffin and the eventual merger of CAL/UAL.
 

luckytohaveajob

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Merger or die. It will be nice to see a bloody oozing sore covered by a 25 year band aid called CAL ALPA defend its weakling self with empty threats, non-action, selfish pilots and double talk while it rolls over on the CAL pilots.

25 years of selfishness with pilots who think they got away with but haven't. Once a bloody oozing sore always a bloody oozing sore, ie. CAL pilot.

There is no reforming a traitor who will take another pilots job.
 
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ATRCA

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Merger or die. It will be nice to see a bloody oozing sore covered by a 25 year band aid called CAL ALPA defend its weakling self with empty threats, non-action, selfish pilots and double talk while it rolls over on the CAL pilots.

25 years of selfishness with pilots who think they got away with but haven't. Once a bloody oozing sore always a bloody oozing sore, ie. CAL pilot.

There is no reforming a traitor who will take another pilots job.

While this may be true we all know that without a merger UAL has serious problems going forward and few give them any chance to survive on their own. Deep down (and sometimes publicly) everyone at UAL knows they're circling the drain. Years of arrogance and poor management have left a once proud carrier desperately seeking a savior. The last few weeks have seen attempts to raise cash. First UAL announces an aircraft order that no one believes is serious or would yield a single airframe inside of 8 years. The aircraft order a ruse to convince potential buyers of the newly released bond program that they are investing in a sound carrier with plans to grow and prosper. It's readily apparent there is no plan forward, no plan to become viable. Instead, "right sizing" to make the company attractive for "merger" aka last ditch buyout.

CAL has plenty of losers (98% of which are holdovers in IAH), there is no question about that. In the end, this isn't about CAL. It's about UAL and what piece of UAL is left to merge with. CAL had a look at those books and walked away from the deal. Depending on which analyst you choose to subscribe to CAL would be much better off shopping the inevitable fire sale scheduled for sometime in the coming year. Here's some light reading for you.............


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124630802244770103.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN2959811120090629
 

whatitdoing?

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It's never been about what's good for the employees short term or long term. It's about what's the best for investors and how quick it can line the pockets of executives. So what doesn't make sense to us, makes perfect sense to the executives. I never thought until today that a merger is going to happen. Sadly, I think I'm wrong and it's going to go down this year. Here's to a tanking career!!!
 

Scrapdog

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Heyas,

If UAL wanted a merger, they missed the boat. The NWA/DAL merger was a shoe in because of the administration. The current administration is sure to do a complete rectal exam.

If CAL doesn't want a merger, but the DOJ blocks their anti-trust immunity, things may get complicated.

Nu

DOT has final ruling - which is in favor of CAL joining the STAR alliance. DOJ only reccomends, DOT is the final approval authority.
 

Scrapdog

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It's never been about what's good for the employees short term or long term. It's about what's the best for investors and how quick it can line the pockets of executives. So what doesn't make sense to us, makes perfect sense to the executives. I never thought until today that a merger is going to happen. Sadly, I think I'm wrong and it's going to go down this year. Here's to a tanking career!!!

Dude, you sound like a broken record. Honestly, buck up - the only thing you can control is being the best flyer you can be. If we merge with United (which I don't think we will for years to come) - so be it. It is what it is.

Americans under Carter saw double digit interest rates and gas shortages and 4 years later enjoyed a great economy under President Reagan. Things will get better.

Take a step back and look at the big picture. Right now you're at an airline that constantly takes the top airline award from Forbes, is #1 in customer service from multiple sources, and has a pretty darn solid management team. Things aren't so bad.
 
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whatitdoing?

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Dude, you sound like a broken record. Honestly, buck up - the only thing you can control is being the best flyer you can be. If we merge with United (which I don't think we will for years to come) - so be it. It is what it is.

Americans under Carter saw double digit interest rates and gas shortages and 4 years later enjoyed a great economy under President Reagan. Things will get better.

Take a step back and look at the big picture. Right now you're at an airline that constantly takes the top airline award from Forbes, is #1 in customer service from multiple sources, and has a pretty darn solid management team. Things aren't so bad.


Uuuhh, so how does that help us? Who cares CAL is winning awards? How does that help our situation? Solid management team? They hedged at 140 bucks a barrel. Buck up? Just hand over that pipe you're smoking.
 

SRJ

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Dude, you sound like a broken record. Honestly, buck up - the only thing you can control is being the best flyer you can be. If we merge with United (which I don't think we will for years to come) - so be it. It is what it is.

Americans under Carter saw double digit interest rates and gas shortages and 4 years later enjoyed a great economy under President Reagan. Things will get better.

Take a step back and look at the big picture. Right now you're at an airline that constantly takes the top airline award from Forbes, is #1 in customer service from multiple sources, and has a pretty darn solid management team. Things aren't so bad.
\

Ha! Pan Am, EAL, Piedmont, etc. use to have all of these things as well.
 

Scrapdog

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Uuuhh, so how does that help us? Who cares CAL is winning awards? How does that help our situation? Solid management team? They hedged at 140 bucks a barrel. Buck up? Just hand over that pipe you're smoking.

Fair enough - feel free to lose sleep over crap you can't control. In the meantime I'm looking forward to a couple of Bogota overnights coming up next month.
 

whatitdoing?

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Fair enough - feel free to lose sleep over crap you can't control. In the meantime I'm looking forward to a couple of Bogota overnights coming up next month.


I'm not losing any sleep over anything other than being sick as a dog with swine flu......I think. There's nothing wrong with having an interest in my career. Sure, I can't do anything about it, but it doesn't mean I have to like it. When we merge with UAL, my career....AND YOURS...will take a vertical dive. Enjoy Bogota!!!
 

list2002

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After age 65, the economy, and swine flu start panning out I am afraid a merger will be the final kick in balls to a junior hire at CAL like me. Waaaahhhh. I know, but still, ALPA guys keep insisting that they have a plan in place to guaranty I will be in the same "relative" spot if a merger should take place. There's a big difference between a company growing and hiring to fill the spaces and one that just instantly doubles with pilots in place. Just don't want to go from a working job to waiting in line behind 1000 once furloghed pilots due to date of hire.
 

Browntothebone

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Prater is a CAL guy and he will see to it that his boys are taken care of during the merger.
 
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