Group asks Supreme Court to stay US Airways-American merger


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

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

In their appeal to the Supreme Court, plaintiffs led byCalifornia resident Carolyn Fjord warned that "irreparableinjury" could be caused to the domestic airline industry if thedeal goes ahead as planned.

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

"The question of the legality of the proposed merger ...following on the whirlwind of mammoth mergers in the airlineindustry in the last five years, is serious enough to warrant astay 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 bythe 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. BankruptcyCourt, Southern District of New York, re: AMR Corp et al,11-15463.

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