The Justice Department has launched an antitrust investigation into United and Mesa for colluding to squash low cost competition at Washington Dulles airport.
United Express carrier Atlantic Coast is in the process of rebirthing itself as a low cost carrier, while Mesa has bid for the airline and would presumably continue the United Express relationship.
It’s fairly safe to say that Atlantic Coast is well-connected politically in the DC area and has had the support of Virginia Senator George Allen and is getting its money’s worth out of prestigious law firm Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher.
What most of the country outside of my home turf of DC fails to realize is just how important political connections can be in matters such as these. An outstanding tactic on their part, although to my mind completely silly.
Far from being a pro-consumer move, it’s simply an anti-takeover tactic.