Delta Airlines Inc. is using the looming specter of antitrust regulation as a key reason to fight an $8.5 billion takeover bid from US Airways Group Inc., but antitrust experts say Delta’s argument is exaggerated.

The airline’s Dec. 19 warning about the antitrust risks titled, “Proposed US Airways/Delta Merger Would Be Highly Anticompetitive” begins with a statement that the two airlines have “overlapping networks.”

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