United Airlines Abuse of Dominance, 2008

A class of air travelers sued United Airlines for the illegal maintenance of its monopoly power on nonstop flights between the Washington DC and San Francisco markets. They alleged that United used its market power to impose unlawful and anticompetitive contractual restrictions on the transfer of airline tickets.

To assess United’s market power, Nathan Associates was asked to analyze whether the relevant market is limited to nonstop flights between Washington and San Francisco, or if the relevant market should include connecting flights. Nathan Associates staff in India constructed econometric models of demand for nonstop and connecting travel between Washington and San Francisco, and determined that the relevant market should include only nonstop travel.

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