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GAO analysis of United-Continental merger identifies market overlaps

15-Jun-2010 2:30 PM

US Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated an analysis of the competitive affects of the proposed merger of Continental Airlines and United Airlines revealed that combining the airlines would eliminate one effective competitor (defined as providing at least 5% of traffic between airports) on 1,135 city pairs, affecting almost 35 million passengers (AINOnline, 11-Jun-2010). The GAO added that the merger would create a new competitor in 173 markets, affecting around 9.5 million passengers. The GAO added that there is considerable overlap between markets served by United out of Chicago and Continental out of Cleveland, with 52 of 62 domestic airports served by Continental from Cleveland also receiving service from United from Chicago.