The Supreme Court Monday refused to consider a significant antitrust case involving Northwest Airlines and a low-cost competitor that could have set some rules for competition between large airlines and smaller, no-frills rivals.
The case, Northwest Airlines Corp. v. Spirit Airlines Inc., stems from a six-year-old Spirit Airlines suit in which Spirit charged that Northwest engaged in predatory pricing to force Spirit to drop two flights from Detroit, one to Boston, the other to Philadelphia. The case raises key antitrust issues, such as the type of evidence needed to prove that a company engaged in below-cost pricing to drive a competitor out of business.
A district court sided with Northwest, but the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the ruling and found for Spirit Airlines. But the Supreme Court Monday refused to hear the case due to procedural issues related to the timing of an appeal filed by Northwest. The airline filed a petition July 17 but the petition was removed from the court's docket because it was filed five days late.
Northwest asked the court to consider the case despite the late filing, but the court refused, issuing an order denying the "out-of-time" petition.
Shares of Northwest, which is in bankruptcy, fell 5 cents, or 7.3 percent, to 64 cents a share in over-the-counter trading.
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The case, Northwest Airlines Corp. v. Spirit Airlines Inc., stems from a six-year-old Spirit Airlines suit in which Spirit charged that Northwest engaged in predatory pricing to force Spirit to drop...
Northwest's stock price, which closed at 84 cents Monday, was worth more than $5 when Wilson sold 258,100 shares of his 904,940 shares in the Eagan, Minn.-based airline.
The union wants Northwest to trim concessions to $156 million because the airline is doing better than it projected.
In a bankruptcy court motion filed Monday, flight attendants argued that Northwest's business plan, drafted in late 2005, proved overly pessimistic.