Judgment Entered in Airline-Merger Case

     WASHINGTON (CN) - After US Airways and American Airlines agreed to scale back at key airports so that their planned $11 billion merger would not lead to a monopoly, a federal judge entered final judgment in the case.
     The United States, along with the attorneys general of six states and the District of Columbia, had filed the federal antitrust action against US Airways and American's parent company AMR Corp. in August. They claimed the merger would likely mean higher ticket prices, fewer seats and more fees for passengers.
     In a settlement proposed three months later, the legacy airlines had to "divest slots and gates at key constrained airports" nationwide.
     AMR exited bankruptcy protection, and the merger closed on Dec. 9.
     By ceding some of their gates, slots and ground facilities to low-cost carriers, the legacy airlines opened the door to increased competition from low-cost carriers at Boston Logan International, Chicago O'Hare International, Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles International, Miami International, New York LaGuardia International and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports.
     U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kottelly signed the final judgment Friday, forestalling a trial that had been scheduled for this winter.