On 3 February 2009 Chairman of the US House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee James Oberstar introduced an Airline Anti Trust Bill H.R. 831 UPDATED (HT to Aviation Law Prof Blog). See GovTrack to follow the progress of this bill which has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
The Bill has already attracted some comment:
One has to wonder what impact this move will have on the already commenced second phase of the EU-US air services negotiations.
The relevant current legislation that give the US Department of Transportation the power to grant anti-trust immunity is contained in sections 41308 and 41309, Title 49, United States Code. New Zealand has similar legislation in Part 9 of the Civil Aviation Act.