Chambers, mayors urge Holder to let American merger proceed


South Florida’s business and political leaders are pressing the Obama administration to let American Airlines merge with US Airways.

Miami-Dade’s top chamber of commerce, tourism bureau and economic development agency joined a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that asks the Justice Department to end its effort to block the merger. The Justice Department claims combining the airlines would violate anti-trust laws and cost flyers more by reducing competition in airports across the country.

“This combination will benefit the U.S. economy, the airline industry, and local communities throughout the United States,’’ read the letter signed by business groups throughout the country, including the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and Miami-Dade’s Beacon Council.

The letter came a day after a similar letter signed by mayors of cities in American and U.S. Air hubs, including Miami, Dallas and Chicago. Carlos Gimenez, mayor of Miami-Dade, signed the letter, which told Holder “we know the airline industry creates jobs, supports local businesses, attracts new businesses and promotes infrastructure growth.”

A spokesman for Gimenez said American and U.S. Airways staff handled sending the joint letter to Justice. Gimenez sent his own letter last month.


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