Rep. Cohen threatens antitrust probe of Delta after Tenn. flights canceled

"I was disappointed to learn last February that Delta planned to scale back the flight to a summer seasonal schedule but took Delta at their word that they would bring back the flight in the summer of 2013," Cohen said. "Now that Delta has eliminated the flight altogether, I am disappointed that Delta has once again broken a promise they made to me and the people of Memphis."

A spokesman for Delta said the decision to cut the service was based on rising fuel costs and low demand for the Memphis-Amsterdam route.

ADVERTISEMENT
Nonetheless, Cohen said he has asked for a meeting with Delta on this issue, and is also "reaching out" to Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss "the growing evidence that Delta is violating the promises made to the Department when seeking antitrust immunity for their merger."

Delta and Northwest Airlines merged in 2008, immediately after the Justice Department said the merger did not pose any antitrust concerns. The Delta spokesman said the decision to cut direct service to Amsterdam had nothing to do with the merger.

Cohen, who sits on the Antitrust Task Force of the House Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Aviation of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has been putting pressure on Delta even before the cancellation of the Memphis-Amsterdam flight.

In June, Cohen said ticket prices in Memphis were inflated, and raised the possibility of "monopolistic practices" by the airline. On Wednesday, he reiterated arguments that Delta has said Memphis would not lose jobs or flights, which he said are "two promises that have been broken."

— This story was updated at 1:33 p.m.

More in House

Lawmakers pay tribute to Rep. Latham

Read more »