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Justice Department wants American Airlines-US Airways merger trial to start in March

August 27, 2013|By Hugo Martin
  • A US Airways plane is parked between two American Airlines planes at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
A US Airways plane is parked between two American Airlines planes at Dallas-Fort… (Tom Fox / MCT )

The merger to create the world's largest airline will have to get the green light from a U.S. District Court. The question now is when will the trial start.

The U.S. Department of Justice asked a district court judge Tuesday to set a March 3 trial date to hear its challenge of the mega-merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

Quiz: What can't you take onboard a jetliner?

The Justice Department has filed suit to stop the merger, saying it would result in fewer services, less  competition and higher airfares.

Attorneys for the two airlines had already requested a Nov. 12 trial date, saying the carriers are eager to prove the merger would be good for the airlines and its passengers.

"Antitrust cases typically involve a host of 'complicated legal, factual and technical [particularly economic] questions' and therefore require 'extensive discovery,'" the Justice Department said in documents filed in the courtroom of Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

The Justice Department rejects arguments by airline lawyers who have said further delay in approving the merger could hurt the financial stability of the carriers.

"This argument, however, ignores the fact that American’s restructuring efforts have been extraordinarily successful and have positioned the company to compete as a strong and vibrant stand-alone firm," the Justice Department said.

On Monday, AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, reported a $292-million profit for July, a new monthly record.

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