U.S. asks for March trial in airline merger challenge

WASHINGTON Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:15pm BST

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WASHINGTON Aug 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department asked a federal court on Tuesday to set a March 3 trial date to hear its arguments in favor of blocking a planned merger between US Airways and American Airlines.

The companies had requested a 10-day trial that would begin on Nov. 12.

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Aug. 13, asking a federal court to order the companies to abandon plans for a deal that would form the world's largest carrier.

The department has argued that the deal would reduce competition and lead to higher air fares. The companies have said that the deal was critical for American Airlines, which has been operating under Chapter 11 protection since late 2011.

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