DALLAS — Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Tuesday withdrew his opposition to the merger of American Airlines with U.S. Airways, eliminating a potential issue in his campaign for governor.

Abbott said he is withdrawing his support for the federal antitrust action that seeks to block the merger, after the airlines entered into a binding agreement to maintain the merged company's headquarters in the area around Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, where American is headquartered now.

The airline also agreed to continue serving rural areas of the state after the merger.

"Our real concern that we articulated from the beginning was to ensure no interruption of service from rural areas of the state of Texas," Abbott said at a news conference Tuesday at DFW.

Abbott had joined attorneys general from five other states and the District of Columbia in the federal antitrust lawsuit against Fort Worth-based American and its parent AMR.

Abbott is running for the GOP nomination for governor, seeking to replace ally Rick Perry, who announced in July that he would not run for re-election, leaving the Republican nomination to Abbott.

DFW is in the midst of a $2 billion expansion of its four original terminals. With American, its largest carrier in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, DFW has dealt with investor questions about the fate of the airline amid record bond issuance this year.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on Tuesday denied a Justice Department bid to delay the antitrust trial currently scheduled for Nov. 25. The Justice Department claimed that it was short-staffed because of the government shutdown.

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