The newly merged American Airlines Group is collecting an "unprecedented" 425 million dollars from smaller airlines for slots at a Washington and New York airport, dpa quoted the US Department of Justice as saying in Monday.
The former US Airways and American Airlines, which merged late last year to form the world's largest airline, were forced to divest at least 138 airport slots in exchange for justice officials' dropping their antitrust challenge to the merger.
In a court document released by the department, justice officials defended the compromise against dozens of complaints from US legislators, airport authorities and other individuals.
"The competitive significance of the remedy is reflected in the value being paid for the divested Reagan National and LaGuardia slots - over 425 million dollars - which is unprecedented in the airline industry and among the most substantial merger remedies in any industry," the Department of Justice argued.
The US District Court in the District of Columbia must still approve the final settlement, a step that is regarded as a formality.