At the risk of being considered unsupportive of a mega-deal that would benefit Chicago, it might be good to step back and think about the proposed merger of United and Continental airlines. One person who has such a concern is U.S. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
"This was not what I voted for in 1978 when Congress voted to deregulate the airline industry,'' he said in Washington during a phone conference call with reporters. "We expected that leaving the market place to the competitive forces would increase competition and increase the number of new entrants.''
These are good points. Consolidation, indeed, was not what the airline deregulation intended. For competition to remain in the industry, it would seem that the application of anti-trust laws would be a safeguard. Not to throw cold water on the celebrations underway in Chicago over the city becoming home to the world's biggest airline.