US Justice Department loses bid to delay case on US-AMR merger

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Oct 05, 2013 11:20 AM EDT

On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice had lost its bid to delay its case to fight the planned merger of airlines US Airways and American Airlines. American Airlines parent AMR Corp and US Airways Group Inc were looking to consolidate the companies to improve its market share.

The developments of the case against the airline merger were eclipsed by a more important issue. The government had shut down over budget disputes, especially for healthcare. The Justice Department had requested that the court would delay the hearing for the case as many of its legal staff were on furlough. In the court filing, the department said, "This is creating difficulties for the department to perform the functions necessary to support its litigation efforts." Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly had turned down the request.

Lawyer Richard Parker, who represents the airlines, said right after the pretrial hearing, "From what the judge said in there, and I think everybody heard, we're going to trial on November 25. We are planning on a November 25 trial date."

Investors had seemed to be optimistic about the news. US Airways shares had risen 3.9% at USD19.69, while AMR record an 8.3% climb at USD4.45 on Tuesday's trading close.

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