Southwest, AirTran Acquisition On Target

While a definitive closing date cannot yet be determined, Southwest and AirTran said they expect that

Southwest’s acquisition of AirTran

will close in the first half of 2011. In a public statement, the two carriers said they received a request for additional information from the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) about the previously announced acquisition of AirTran.

This action, often referred to as a "second request," is a common part of the regulatory approval process under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, the carriers said in a statement.

Both parties are in the process of gathering information to respond to the second request and will continue to work cooperatively with the DOJ as it reviews the transaction, they said.

Completion of the transaction remains subject to the approval of AirTran stockholders, receipt of DOJ and any other necessary clearances and fulfillment of customary closing conditions.

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