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Associated Press, Published May 06 2010

Oberstar asks Justice Department to block proposed United-Continental combination

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the House Transportation committee is asking the Justice Department to block the planned combination of United Airlines and Continental.

Congressman Jim Oberstar is a Democrat from Minnesota. He says the United-Continental deal will move the country toward having an airline system dominated by three mega-carriers. The deal would make United the world's largest airline.

In 2008, Oberstar opposed the purchase of Minnesota-based Northwest Airlines by Delta Air Lines. Antitrust regulators approved it anyway.

United and Continental have said only a handful of their domestic routes overlap.

The deal needs approval from antitrust regulators and shareholders. The companies are hoping to close it by the end of the year.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.