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DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines is so intent on strengthening its grip over Dallas Love Field that it is paying United Airlines $120 million to control two more gates at the airport near downtown.

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Southwest disclosed the deal Monday during a hearing on a court fight that will determine whether Delta Air Lines can stay at Love Field.

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The hearing gave a rare glimpse into the high-stakes dealing that sometimes happens in the airline business as carriers compete for scarce gates and landing rights.

By subleasing United’s gates through 2028, Dallas-based Southwest now controls 18 of the airport’s 20 gates. Virgin America has the other two.

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