WASHINGTON — Congressional committee leaders have sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing concerns that the proposed settlement agreement with US Airways and American Airlines might hurt less populated and rural areas.

"We strongly encourage the Department of Justice and the [Department of Transportation] to take a more global view of the competition within the airline industry... and to ensure full consideration of the needs of small communities and rural states and regions throughout the process of settling the lawsuit and supervising the implementation of the settlement agreement," the lawmakers wrote.

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