Isakson Lauds Delta-Northwest Merger; Oberstar Pans It.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today hailed the Justice Department’s approval of the merger of Delta and Northwest airlines as an economic boost to his state during tough times.

“I’m very excited. This makes a lot of sense for Atlanta, and it’s almost a perfect marriage for the two airlines,” Isakson told Politico. “I felt like the Justice Department would approve the merger, and I’m very glad they did.”

Justice approved the $17.7 billion merger today, clearing the way for what will be the world’s largest airline.

The close of the six-month Justice review brings airline executives one step closer to their goal of closing the deal before a new president is sworn in on Jan. 20. But some lawmakers may not be so pleased.

House Transportation Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) tried to thwart the merger last spring, citing concerns over decrease competition among airlines and higher ticket fares for travelers.
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