Delta’s NWA Takeover Not a Done-Deal Yet

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.

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From: Yahoo

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.

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Oberstar: NWA/Delta Merger Would Create Too Much Consolidation

From: Star Tribune, 1/16/08

U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., said Wednesday that he doesn’t favor any mergers now because “we have an appropriate balance of competition in the aviation market.”

Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, met with two Northwest executives Tuesday about the carrier’s merger talks with Delta and the effects of a Delta-Northwest deal.

“We did not deregulate aviation in 1978 to create consolidation of the industry, but rather to expand competition,” Oberstar told reporters Wednesday.

Asked whether he would oppose a Delta-Northwest deal, Oberstar said, “I don’t think mergers are in the best public interest, and that includes this one.”

While a merger might increase competitors’ flights into the Twin Cities, a Delta acquisition of Northwest likely would mean the closing of the Northwest headquarters in Eagan….

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Related: Delta lets the guessing continue on merger talks with Northwest/United