WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- The Justice Department said Thursday it is closing its investigation of the America West-US Airways merger, concluding the deal will not harm competition.
The announcement allows the merger to proceed without an antitrust challenge.
US Airways and America West are the seventh and eight largest U.S. air carriers in terms of revenue-passenger miles, the department said. The two companies expect $600 million in cost savings and new revenue because of the merger.
R. Hewitt Pate, assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, issued a statement announcing the end of the investigation.
"The Antitrust Division has concluded that the proposed merger of America West and US Airways would not reduce competition," Pate said, "and therefore has decided to close its investigation without issuing requests for additional information. There is very little overlap between the networks of America West and US Airways."
America West operates primarily in the Western United States, Pate said, while US Airways operates primarily in the eastern United States.