Maybe United-Continental merger not such a good idea

United_Continental_Logo.png

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.


The Tribune reported that he warned that the merger could accelerate the consolidation of the airline industry and lead to higher fares, downgraded service and fewer choices for travelers.

"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.



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  • You are running behind my comments on the new spam fest, Chicago Breaking Business News.

    In essence, if Oberstar has regrets about legislation for which he voted 32 years ago, introduce a bill to amend or repeal it. Don't expect the Justice Department to go contra the law.

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