Legislators Back Delta in Merger Bid; House and Senate Resolutions Are Filed in Support of the Airline

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Byline: VICKY ECKENRODE

ATLANTA - State lawmakers supporting Delta Air Lines' efforts to stave off a takeover from US Airways are sending a letter to federal justice officials reviewing the merger proposal.

A dozen Republican and Democratic legislators signed the note to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Monday, urging his office to carefully review US Airways' "hostile take-over bid."

"Along with the constituents we represent in Georgia, we also are very concerned about the significant loss of competition and the likely impact on air fares and regional concentration this merger will create," the letter states.

Also on Monday legislators introduced resolutions in the House and Senate voicing support for Atlanta-based Delta.

US Airways is offering Delta's creditors more than $10 billion in cash and stock to accept the merger. Delta is fighting the offer and wants to emerge from bankruptcy this year.

Delta's creditors have not yet weighed in on the bid. But if it is approved, the deal still will have to receive approval from the Justice Department because of antitrust questions.

A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday also is expected look at how the proposed merger would affect competition and air service on routes where the two airlines overlap.

State Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, said state lawmakers sent the message to the Justice Department "to ensure that we do everything in our power that we see to keep Delta a Georgia company and here in our great state. …