Judge Won't Block Continental, UA Merger

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    A federal judge has declined to block the combination of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, clearing the way for the deal to close by Friday.

    Forty-nine travelers had sued in San Francisco, claiming the deal would raise fares. They asked Judge Richard Seeborg to stop the deal from closing until a jury can hear their claims.

    The judge's ruling said the travelers have not shown that they personally would be harmed enough to stop the deal from moving forward. Seeborg wrote on Monday that none of the plaintiffs testified to having flown regularly, and that only one said that she is likely to use United or Continental when she does fly.

    The Justice Department has already said it has no antitrust objections to the deal.

    United spokeswoman Jean Medina said the airline is pleased with the judge's decision.

    Shares of UAL Corp., United's Chicago-based parent, rose 18 cents to $23.02. Houston-based Continental Airlines Inc. added 4 cents to $24.15.