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Airline mergers have already increased fares

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NEW YORK — The government is putting its foot down on rising airfares and fees by blocking the latest airline merger — but for fliers, it’s already too late.

The past decade has seen the largest transformation of the airline industry in a generation. Prior to 2005, there were nine major U.S. airlines. Today, just five.

The merger of American Airlines and US Airways would bring that number down to four. But Tuesday, the Department of Justice moved to block…

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