Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is leading a group of states that have joined the Justice Department’s investigation of the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways.On Monday evening, a spokesman with Abbott’s office confirmed a Reuters news service report that Texas is leading the group, which includes 19 attorneys general who are concerned that their states might lose air service or possibly a hub when the carriers combine. Abbott’s spokesman declined to comment further on the investigation. The Justice Department is examining antitrust issues related to the merger, which will create the largest airline in the world. Some U.S. senators and congressmen have expressed concern about the number of slots the combined carrier would have at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.The merger, expected to close in September, needs government regulatory approval. The shareholders of US Airways are expected to vote on the merger at their meeting July 12. The new airline, which will be called American Airlines, will be based in Fort Worth.At a congressional hearing last month, US Airways CEO Doug Parker testified that he does not believe that the combined company should have to divest slots at Reagan and if it did, it could mean fewer flights to small and medium-size cities.
Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631 Twitter: @Sky_Talk