A federal judge has approved a $15 million settlement between Southwest Airlines and members of a class-action lawsuit who allege that the company, along with three other airlines, conspired to limit the number of seats available to customers and keep ticket prices high.
In a statement, Southwest said the settlement “does not constitute any admission of wrongdoing” and denied having entered into any unlawful agreements with its competitors.
The move appeared to represent a break of sorts between Southwest and the other three defendants named in the lawsuit: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. Those companies have also denied doing anything illegal, and they continue to fight the allegations.
As part of the agreement preliminarily approved on Wednesday, Southwest agreed to make the $15 million cash payment and also to provide what court documents called “extensive cooperation.” Those cooperative efforts, according to the court documents, will include a “full account of facts” relevant to the plaintiffs’ case as well as a series of informational meetings and interviews with industry experts and Southwest employees facilitated by the company.