US Airways, American should not get merger papers -U.S. special master

Reuters

WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - US Airways andAmerican Airlines should not get most of the keydocuments they requested from the government in a legal fightwith the Justice Department about merging, a special masterassisting the judge in the case said on Thursday.

The airlines had asked for materials that the governmentassembled as part of its research prior to a decision tochallenge the merger on antitrust grounds. They also asked for internal Justice Department documents about previous airlinedeals. The Justice Department objected.

Special Master Richard Levie recommended that Judge ColleenKollar-Kotelly reject most of the requests.

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit in August to stop thedeal, saying it would lead to higher prices. Trial in the caseis set to begin on Nov. 25.

Some documents were "protected opinion work product" -essentially analyses done in anticipation of litigation, Leviesaid. Others were considered confidential because they includedeliberations before decisions were made.

Levie did recommend that the judge order the department toturn over documents related to the approval of the 2008 mergerbetween US Airways and America West.

The case at the U.S. District Court for the District ofColumbia is No. 1:13-cv-1236.

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