Judge moves airline merger step closer to takeoff

By: DAVID KOENIG AP Airlines Writer
By: DAVID KOENIG AP Airlines Writer

A federal bankruptcy judge is approving the settlement in the U.S. government's antitrust lawsuit against American Airlines and US Airways, clearing the airlines to complete their merger early next month.

Judge Sean Lane ruled Wednesday in New York that the settlement didn't upset American's bankruptcy-reorganization plan, which he had already given conditional approval back in September.

The judge is also rejecting a move by a group of consumers to delay the merger while they pursue their own antitrust lawsuit against the airlines.

The ruling is not a surprise. American and US Airways hope to close their merger on Dec. 9 and create the world's biggest airline, slightly larger than United or Delta.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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