U.S. COURT HASTENS REVIEW OF STB MERGER MORATORIUM
The U.S. Court of Appeals has granted a request for expedited judicial review of the rail-merger moratorium imposed by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board on March 17.
The STB ruling stalled a proposed merger by Canadian National and Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which would have created the largest rail network in North America.
Under the court’s schedule, oral arguments will be held in Washington June 13. A decision is expected shortly thereafter.
Opening briefs from merger proponents, CN, BNSF and intevenors opposing the moratorium are due May 5. The STB’s reply and briefs by those who support the moratorium are due May 19. Answering briefs by CN and BNSF are due May 24.
A motion to stay the STB order was held in abeyance pending the completion of oral arguments.
CN president Paul M. Tellier welcomed the court’s decision. “We our optimistic about the outcome of our challenge given our strong case in law. If successful, CN and BNSF will immediately move forward to submit their common control application to the STB for a decision by the agency in 2001.”