ICYMI: Bondi says Florida will remain in federal airline merger lawsuit

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Attorney General Pam Bondi announced Friday that Florida is still part of a U.S. Department of Justice challenge to the proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines.

Earlier in the month, seven Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Bondi calling for her to drop her support for a federal challenge to the merger. Nevertheless, according to Bondi, Florida will remain in the suit.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has already dropped out of the proceedings between the Arizona-based US Airways Group. and AMR Corp., the parent company of Texas-based American Airlines.

“Our plan is to remain in the litigation,” said Bondi spokesperson Jennifer Meale in an email reported by the News Service of Florida. Abbott announced Tuesday that Texas reached an agreement where the newly merged airlines would continue daily service to more than 20 Texas airports.

In August, Bondi joined five other state attorneys general in the federal suit, arguing that the proposed $11 billion merger would reduce competition between commercial air companies, resulting in higher airfares.

Abbott’s decision prompted the Association of Professional Flight Attendants to pressure Bondi to enter the suit.

“Florida, particularly South Florida, is home to about 2,500 American flight attendants that are in need of good wages and long term job security, but General Bondi is standing in the way of that,” said APFA President Laura Glading, the News Service of Florida reports.

 Miami International Airport is one five U.S. hubs for American Airlines. The DOJ alleges the merger is in violation of the Clayton Antitrust Act since an overlap in the current routes by the two carriers would reduce competition.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.