Justice Department probes potential airline collusion

Jul 1, 2015 2:40 PM by CBS/AP

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether airlines are colluding to slow their growth as part of an effort to keep airfares high.

"We are investigating possible unlawful coordination by some airlines," a spokeswoman for the agency told CBS News. She declined to comment further, including which airlines are being investigated.

The Associated Press first reported the news.

The government has requested information from airlines as part of the antitrust investigation.

As a result of a series of mergers starting in 2008, American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Southwest Airlines (LUV) and United Airlines (UAL) now control more than 80 percent of the seats in U.S. skies.

Airline shares fell in the wake of the news, with Delta and Southwest off almost 5 percent and American and United down about 4 percent.

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