Justice Dept., EU clear Delta-Virgin Atlantic deal

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By The Associated Press, Associated Press

Delta has gotten key approvals from antitrust regulators for its deal to buy almost half of Virgin Atlantic.

Both the U.S. Justice Department and the European Commission said on Thursday that the deal does not pose an antitrust threat. They concluded that Delta and Virgin Atlantic will still be competing against a strong alliance between American Airlines and British Airways, as well as other airlines.

The deal still needs approval from the U.S. Transportation Department, which Delta hopes to get later this year.

Delta Air Lines Inc. wants to buy a 49-percent stake in Virgin Atlantic for $360 million. The two would then sell seats on each other's flights, giving Delta a way to expand its flight offerings between New York and London, the busiest aviation route in the world.

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