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Delta-Northwest-Lawsu 09-16

Delta, NWA fight ‘sideshow’

ATLANTA — A lawyer for 28 air travelers suing to block Delta Air Lines Inc.’s acquisition of Northwest Airlines Corp. wants court permission to question the chief executives of four other major carriers about their views on airline industry consolidation.

Lawyers for Delta and Northwest say granting the request would allow an "immaterial sideshow" and they are asking a federal judge to reject it. They say they are mindful of the current trial schedule and the carriers’ ability to complete the combination by year end.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is set to preside over the Nov. 5 trial in San Francisco. Testimony is expected to last 10 days, and Walker could rule by Thanksgiving.

The Delta-Northwest stock-swap deal announced April 14 would create the world’s largest carrier in terms of traffic. The deal is likely to gain shareholder and regulatory approval, leaving court intervention as the only thing that might stand in the way.

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