June 19, 2013 / 8:46 AM / 5 years ago

American Airlines, US Airways seek EU approval for merger

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - US Airways Group LCC.N and American Airlines AAMRQ.PK are seeking EU antitrust approval for their planned $11 billion merger, which would create the world’s largest carrier.

The proposed tie-up, the fourth in the U.S. airline industry since 2008, could strengthen recovery in the sector and give carriers more power to raise prices.

The European Commission, which assesses such deals in the 27-country European Union for their competition impact on consumers and rivals, said on its website on Wednesday that it would decide on the issue by July 23.

The EU competition authority could either clear the merger without requiring concessions or extend its scrutiny by 10 working days if the airlines were to offer remedies. It could also open a detailed investigation that could take about three months if it has concerns.

Two U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday called for a careful review of the merger by U.S. authorities to protect travellers from higher prices.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Rex Merrifield

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