From: Star & Tribune
Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines late Monday announced their plan to merge, a deal meant to create the world’s largest airline and the boldest attempt yet to set a new course for U.S. aviation. …
The two airlines are submitting the deal for antitrust review now in the hope that it can be completed before a new president takes office. U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., intends to fight the merger by holding hearings in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which he leads.
If Delta and Northwest are going to create the world’s largest airline, they’ll first have unions to cajole, politicians to placate, and antitrust regulators to convince.
Two of Northwest’s largest unions immediately declared their opposition.
Most importantly, the airlines will need antitrust approval from federal regulators. In 2001, an attempted merger of United Airlines and US Airways fell apart amid antitrust concerns. Executives at Delta and Northwest said they are aiming to close their deal by the end of this year, which would be before the end of the merger-friendly Bush administration.