U.S. bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane on Wednesday approved American Airlines’ and US Airways’ antitrust settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, clearing the legal path for the two airlines to complete their merger.
The carriers announced they will close their merger Dec. 9. The deal will create the largest airline in the world with more than $38 billion in annual revenues, over 6,500 daily flights to 336 destinations and more than 100,000 employees.
Lane rejected a request for a temporary restraining order from San Francisco attorney Joseph Alioto, who represents about 40 plaintiffs in a civil antitrust suit trying to stop the merger. Alioto had asked the court for the temporary restraining order while his case went to trial, arguing the merger was anti-competitive and would concentrate 80 percent of the U.S. air travel market amongst three airlines.
In denying the temporary restraining order, Lane said the plaintiffs “had failed to establish irreparable harm.”