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Judge allows United-Continental to proceed

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge has declined to block the combination of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, clearing the way for the deal to close by Friday.

Forty-nine travelers had sued in San Francisco, claiming the deal would raise fares. They asked Judge Richard Seeborg to stop the deal from closing until a jury can hear their claims.

The ruling said the travelers have not shown they personally would be harmed enough to stop the deal from moving forward. Seeborg wrote on Monday that none of the plaintiffs testified to having flown regularly, and that only one said she is likely to use United or Continental when she does fly.

The Justice Department has already said it has no antitrust objections to the deal.