The Senate's two top antitrust watchdogs have urged the Transportation and Justice departments to take a closer look at the proposed tie-up between American Airlines and British Airways. Sens. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, stressed that they were not taking a position "on the ultimate merits of this application," but said increased cooperation on trans-Atlantic routes could raise "significant competition issues." While American pilots were set to picket Wednesday at the Transportation Department, the Air Transport Association reinforced its support of the airline's planned alliance. "Antitrust immunized alliances have enabled international airline alliances to generate important benefits for travelers through better service and lower fares," the group said in a statement.
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