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AMR Suit Delay Sought by U.S. Over Government Shutdown

An AMR Corp.'s American Airlines airplane, left, and a US Airways Group Inc. airplane sit parked at a gate at Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 14, 2013. Photographer: Mike Fuentes/Bloomberg
An AMR Corp.'s American Airlines airplane, left, and a US Airways Group Inc. airplane sit parked at a gate at Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 14, 2013. Photographer: Mike Fuentes/Bloomberg

Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department wants to suspend proceedings in its lawsuit seeking to block the proposed merger of AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. because of the federal government shutdown.

The Justice Department asked the judge overseeing the lawsuit to stay the case until Congress restores funding, saying its attorneys are “generally prohibited” from working except in “very limited circumstances,” according to a filing today in federal court in Washington.

“This is creating difficulties for the department to perform the functions necessary to support its litigation efforts and, accordingly, the department’s policy is to seek a stay in all pending civil litigation,” it said.

The airlines oppose the proposed stay, the Justice Department said in its filing. The U.S. sued the airlines in August, saying the proposed merger would reduce competition. Trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 25. A hearing in the case is set for today.

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 editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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