WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department should block a proposed deal between package delivery companies UPS Inc. and DHL Express because it would violate antitrust laws and eliminate thousands of jobs, a pair of Democratic senators said Thursday.

UPS would provide air transport services for DHL's North American business for 10 years under a contract the two companies are developing, UPS said in May. Currently, two independent airlines provide the services.

The contract, expected to be completed later this year, could result in $1 billion of additional annual revenue for UPS. Other terms of the deal haven't been disclosed.

But the arrangement also could lead to the closure of a DHL air freight and sorting facility in Wilmington, Ohio, and eliminate 9,000 jobs, the senators' letter said.

The deal "will substantially diminish, if not eliminate, the competition between DHL and UPS by rendering DHL a captive of UPS rather than an independent competitor," Sens. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said in the letter. Kohl chairs a Senate antitrust subcommittee.

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