American Airlines and US Airways are getting ready to make an announcement in relation to the merger. Based on the bread crumbs I’ve seen, there are only three reasons I can foresee:
1. They’re calling off the merger.
2. They settled with DOJ.
3. They’ve convinced the state of Texas to drop their objections to the merger.
Since they just got through approving an extension of their exclusivity period to emphasize they’re committed to going to trial, that would lead me to believe it’s not #1. And yet, if DOJ settled I would think they’d be out there telling people about the pound of flesh they extracted from the airlines.
The government is shut down today, and as View From the Wing noted earlier, DOJ has asked for a delay in the trial due to the shutdown. So, that could be why they’re not announcing something. All the spokespeople might be home on leave.
After thinking about it some more and talking with other folks in the know, I suspect it’s #3. I can’t claim that as an original thought, and I wouldn’t term this as “important” news, but it’s certainly a plus, albeit a small one in my eyes, since I was pretty surprised to see Texas joining DOJ in the first place given American’s large employee base in the state. My guess is DOJ leaned on them and now Texas is leaning back the other way.
We’ll know more in about 30 minutes…..