Judge likely to approve AMR bankruptcy exit

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A federal judge signaled Thursday that he is leaning toward approving American Airlines’ emergence from bankruptcy protection but wanted more time to reflect.

Such a decision would only leave one obstacle — although a big one — to American’s proposed merger with US Airways: an antitrust lawsuit filed by the government earlier this month.

That suit filed by the Department of Justice, six states, and the District of Columbia argues that combining American and US Airways would leave four airlines controlling more than 80 percent of US air traffic and drive up prices.

That case is at least two months away from being resolved, unless the airlines and government reach an out-of-court settlement first.

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