Judge mulls delaying merger of United, Continental

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal judge is considering whether to delay the merger of Continental Airlines Inc. and United Airlines Inc. while an antitrust lawsuit is pending.

San Francisco lawyer Joseph Alioto filed a lawsuit in June on behalf of 49 air travelers who allege the merger will lead to increased prices from decreased competition.

Alioto last Friday asked U.S District Court Judge Richard Seeborg to stop the merger until a jury can consider the lawsuit.

A lawyer for the airlines, Katherine Forrest, argued against a delay. She told the judge the two companies planned to complete the merger Oct. 1.

Shareholders of both companies overwhelmingly approved the deal last Friday, and the U.S. Department of Justice last month gave its approval.

The judge said he will rule before Oct. 1.

Published: Tue, Sep 21, 2010