Group asks Supreme Court to stay US Airways-American merger

WASHINGTON Sat Dec 7, 2013 7:52pm EST

WASHINGTON Dec 7 (Reuters) - A group of consumers and travel agents filed a last-ditch petition on Saturday to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop American Airlines and US Airways from merging, a move they fear would drive air travel prices up and service down and make planes more crowded.

The combination of American's parent, AMR Corp, and US Airways Group would create the world's largest carrier and follow last month's resolution of antitrust objections by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In their appeal to the Supreme Court, plaintiffs led by California resident Carolyn Fjord warned that "irreparable injury" could be caused to the domestic airline industry if the deal goes ahead as planned.

The merger is expected to be consummated before the opening of U.S. securities markets on Monday.

"The question of the legality of the proposed merger ... following on the whirlwind of mammoth mergers in the airline industry in the last five years, is serious enough to warrant a stay of the orders which permit the consummation of the merger, pending an appeal," the plaintiffs said in a 28-page filing.

A federal judge on Friday rejected the previous attempt by the group to stop the merger.

The case is Fjord v. AMR Corp et al, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 11-15463-SHL. The main bankruptcy case is in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, re: AMR Corp et al, 11-15463.

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