Oberstar vows close scrutiny of United-Continental merger

The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is urging the Justice Department to block a proposed merger between United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., said forced divestitures and similar measures would not change the anticompetitive nature of the merger, which he called "a disservice to all of aviation domestically and internationally." But experts say the merger looks like a safe bet, despite the political rhetoric. Analysts note that the two airlines compete head-to-head on only 13 domestic nonstop routes, and Continental CEO Jeff Smisek noted earlier this week that "we have no international route overlaps whatsoever."

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