Justice Department approves Northwest/Delta merger


The Justice Department approved the merger of Delta and Northwest Airlines today, bringing the deal one step closer to reality, according to the Associated Press. The merger will create the world's largest airline.

The airlines still have to face a federal lawsuit to block the merger.

More from the AP:

Federal regulators said Wednesday the merger would likely benefit consumers without substantially reducing competition.

Another hurdle remains ahead, however: a federal lawsuit seeking to block the deal. Trial is set for Nov. 5 in San Francisco.

The combined airline would be called Delta and keep its Atlanta headquarters and its chief executive, Richard Anderson.

Northwest would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta during the integration process.

Wednesday's decision caps a six-month Justice Department investigation of the deal.

Government lawyers said the merger probably would create savings by combining airport operations, information technology and other efficiencies that ultimately would drive down prices for consumers.

So much for Minnesota airline pride. If the merger goes through and Sun Country goes under, who will we cheer for in large corporate travel?