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A prominent member of the House of Representatives introduced a bill Thursday that would add another hurdle to airline deals. Legislation from Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., would authorize the U.S. Department of Transportation to review airline mergers for the first time in a decade. The bill would diminish chances that pending deals by UAL Corp. to acquire US Airways Group Inc. and by AMR Corp. to acquire Trans World Airlines Inc. could be completed without drastic changes. Also on Thursday, Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, and Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., met behind closed doors with Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and Attorney General John Ashcroft. DeWine and Kohl said afterward that they wanted to tell Mineta and Ashcroft in person of their concern about the recent wave of airline industry deals. “The trend is one consolidation is leading to another consolidation, and we have the potential of ending up with three major airlines that basically dominate the market,” DeWine told reporters after the meeting Thursday. DeWine and Kohl also said Thursday that they will introduce a bill that could force UAL and AMR to give up some of their slots at two key East Coast airports. Under the bill, a major airline could own only about one-fifth of the slots at LaGuardia Airport in New York and at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va. No airline owns more than 20 percent of the slots at those two airports. Copyright (c)2001 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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