WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department pledges to take a look
at how the proposed merger of Northwest and Delta will affect
consumers. Some lawmakers railing against the proposed combination
say the deal would hurt competition and lead to higher airfares.
But Congress has little power to stop a transaction that antitrust
experts expect to be approved this year.
The airlines say they want to complete the transaction by year
end, in the closing window provided by the presence of the Bush
administration, which is seen as largely merger friendly.
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to say when the
department would review the deal.
Experts say there's little overlap in the routes served by
Northwest and Delta. That, combined with the recent bankruptcy
filings by four smaller carriers, is seen boosting the chances that
regulators will give their blessing.