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Merger Between American Airlines, US Airways Near

PRNewsFoto/American Airlines(NEW YORK) -- American Airlines unveiled a whole new look last month.  And now, it appears the carrier is about to get a whole lot bigger.

Sources tell ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas that a merger between American and US Airways will be announced next week after more than a year of talks.  If the merger goes through, it would make the combined company the biggest airline in the U.S., surpassing United-Continental, according to the Wall Street Journal.

WFAA reports the new company would likely keep the American Airlines name and would be based in Fort Worth, Texas -- the headquarters of American -- but run by the CEO of US Airways.

So how would the consolidation impact consumers?  

On the plus side, Rick Seaney, the CEO of FareCompare, says it could mean newer equipment and technology for travelers.

"If this makes a stronger American Airlines and U-S Airways, they're going to have more money, that means they can invest in their products so some of us will actually, when we buy our next ticket, we may be flying a plane that was built this century and maybe even a few of us, something was actually built this decade," he tells ABC News Radio.

But the merger would cut down the number of airlines in the U.S., likely causing air fares to rise.

"I think, you know, in the short haul, probably no big deal.  In the long haul, it almost, it guarantees that these airlines will never compete and the number one driver of ticket prices is competition, so all things equal, it will drive up prices in the future," Seaney says.

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