United Airlines and Continental Airlines were officially merged into one company last October 1. The merged company is now known as United. Since the merger was complete, the merged companies have been working on how to combine all their offered services and products as well as their business policies.
Antitrust regulators at the Justice Department approved the $8 billion merger plan of United and Continental airlines late last week. The deal to create one of the world's largest airlines is now set to be approved as early as Thanksgiving. Before the companies get the final go-ahead, the merger must be approved by the Transportation Department. United and Continental shareholders must also approve the deal and will vote on September 17.
On Wednesday, congressional lawmakers raised serious antitrust concerns with the CEOs of United Airlines parent UAL Corp. and Continental Airlines Inc. over their plan to merge. The merger involves a $3 billion stock swap and would create the world's largest airline by traffic. During the first of two hearings on Wednesday, the CEO's defended their plan, saying that combining the companies is vital for them to continue to compete worldwide and that the airlines' combination will lead to greater financial stability.
On Wednesday, the CEOs of Continental Airlines Inc. and United Airlines parent UAL Corp. defended their plan for a merger to skeptical members of Congress. Lawmakers are concerned that a merger will lead to higher fares, job losses, and a decreased quality in service.
The proposed merger of United and Continental airlines will almost certainly face a difficult approval process. Both politicians and antitrust regulators are sure to raise questions about the merger and the effect it will have on consumers already concerned about rising ticket prices and a lack of competition.