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News Summary: GAO weighs airline merger's effect

The Associated Press

AIRLINE COMPETITION: American Airlines and US Airways compete on over 1,600 U.S. routes and competition would decline if they merge, according to a government analyst.

MERGER MATH: The airlines say it's not true. US Airways CEO Doug Parker notes that the carriers overlap on only 9 nonstop routes.

DIFFERENT METHODS: While Parker only counts nonstop routes, the Government Accountability Office counts any pair of cities that American and US Airways connect, even if passengers must make a stop along the way. The GAO admits that other airlines fly most of those 1,665 connecting routes where American and US Airways compete.