The U.S. Department of Justice, together with attorneys general from six states and the District of Columbia, have filed a suit in Massachusetts to block the alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue that consolidates the operations of the two carriers in Boston and New York. The complaint alleges that the arrangement, called the “Northeast Alliance” (NEA), not only eliminates important competition in these cities, “but will also harm air travelers across the country by significantly diminishing JetBlue’s incentive to compete with American elsewhere, further consolidating an already highly concentrated industry.” Attorney General Merrick Garland said that in an industry where just four airlines control more than 80% of domestic air travel, the alliance is, in fact, “an unprecedented maneuver to further consolidate the industry. It would result in higher fares, fewer choices and lower-quality service if allowed to continue.” In a statement, Doug Parker, CEO of American, said that before the alliance, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines dominated the New York City market. The NEA, he said, has created a third, full-scale competitor in New York and is empowering more growth in Boston. Ironically, said Parker, the lawsuit “seeks to take away consumer choice and inhibit competition, not encourage it.” He said the carrier will vigorously rebut the DOJ’s claims. And Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue, said in a letter to the airline’s employees that while the carrier has built a successful business in both New York and Boston, “our runway for growth in the Northeast to challenge global legacy carriers Delta and United is limited.” He continued: “I’m sad to say that our biggest obstacle to bringing more low fares and great service to the Northeast right now is the DOJ — the very government agency that should be making every effort to foster robust competition among airlines.”