The airlines, along with Iberia, a prospective partner of British Airways, said on Thursday that they planned to apply for antitrust approval from the Transportation Department to form a marketing alliance to link their global flight networks.
American and British Airways tried twice before to bring about such an arrangement, only to face stiff requirements from regulators. But the aviation landscape has changed significantly since they first proposed the deal in 1996. Then, flights between the United States and Heathrow Airport near London were strictly controlled, and deals between big airlines were routinely viewed as anticompetitive.
source: New York Times