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Official deals setback to airlines in merger trial

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By The Associated Press
Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A court-appointed official said American Airlines and US Airways shouldn't get to know the names of all the people that the government interviewed and what they said before the Justice Department sued to block the airlines' proposed merger.

The official, called a special master, recommended on Thursday that the federal judge hearing the case reject the airlines' request.

The official said the airlines were trying to learn what facts mattered to the government, which he said could give them insight into the thinking and legal strategy of the Justice Department lawyers. He said that kind of information is protected as the work product of lawyers preparing for a lawsuit or trial.

A trial is scheduled to start Nov. 25 in Washington.

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