News Release

United – U.S. Airways


United Airlines said today it intends to buy U.S. Airways. The following analysts are available for interviews:

Executive director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project, Hudson said today: “If this merger is approved without major divesting of routes and other restrictions, the ‘Big Six’ will quickly become the ‘Big Three’ and U.S. airline passengers will be the major losers. No airline should control more than 25 percent to 30 percent of the nation’s airline seats or over 40 percent of seats in a particular region. This merger would give United dominant control of most routes in the Northeast and Midwest.”

President of the American Antitrust Institute, Foer said today: “The proposed swallowing up of one of its few competitors by United Airlines comes in a context that makes it unlikely to be in the public’s interest…. To allow this merger to occur, with the likelihood that it will not only raise concentration but induce further consolidations in reaction, would be inconsistent with the Justice Department’s efforts and contrary to the anti-merger provisions of the Clayton Act.”
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Chair of Logistics and Transportation Department at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, Grimm said today: “This merger raises real questions that need to be examined. It could lead to dominance in some markets, and there will have to be divestitures on a market-by-market basis. In addition, an airline so large creates general competitive problems and will likely prompt rivals to spawn their own mergers. We’ve seen mergers come in waves in different industries.”

Executive director of the Air Carriers Association, which represents new entrants in the airline industry, Faberman said today: “This is another step in the consolidation of this industry into a few carriers. If this merger takes place and the Northwest-Continental merger is allowed to proceed, two companies will control about 50 percent of the market. The government has allowed almost every merger to take place. Steps have to be taken to ensure that competition will survive.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167