Nineteen states want to review proposed airline merger

July 01, 2013

The Attorney General of Texas and his counterparts in 18 other states have joined a U.S. Department of Justice review of the proposed merger between American Airlines and Tempe-based U.S. Airways.

It's not unusual for states to join a federal merger review. By doing so, officials can look out for their state's interests and take part in meetings and depositions conducted by the Justice Department.

Most of the scrutiny of the deal has focused on Reagan National Airport just outside of Washington, D.C. Members of Congress have raised concern that if combined, American and U.S. Airways would control about 70 percent of the takeoff and landing slots, but the airlines have fought any suggestion that they should be forced to sell some slots to boost competition.

U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker, who will lead the combined company if the merger is approved, told a Senate panel last week that if the combined airline loses slots at Reagan, it will cut flights between the capital and smaller cities.

American and parent AMR Corporation filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011.

A federal judge is scheduled to consider approving AMR's plan of reorganization, including the merger, on Aug. 15 in New York.