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AMR, US Airways Seek Names of U.S. Merger Suit Sources

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. are seeking a court order requiring government officials to disclose the identities of people interviewed before filing a lawsuit seeking to halt the airlines’ proposed merger.

The Justice Department has refused to turn over the names of those who were interviewed during the investigation of the proposed merger, the airlines said in a filing today in federal court in Washington.

“Having chosen to file suit, plaintiffs cannot now withhold the relevant facts they learned from those third parties,” they said, referring to the government and a group of state attorneys general.

The U.S. claims the proposed merger of AMR’s American Airlines and US Airways would reduce competition, while the airlines defend the deal as good for consumers. The case is scheduled to begin trial Nov. 25.

The effort to obtain the information comes after AMR and US Airways moved last week to obtain records from the U.S. about government approvals of past airline mergers, saying they need the information to fight the government’s case.

The airlines are asking a court-appointed special master, Richard Levie, to order disclosure of the names of the people interviewed “and the factual information those witnesses disclosed.”

Gina Talamona, a Justice Department spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond after regular business hours to an e-mail seeking comment on the filing.

The case is U.S. v. US Airways Group Inc., 13-cv-01236, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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