Rep. Kucinich skeptical of airline merger

June 16, 2010 at 3:55 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 16 (UPI) -- Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said he is skeptical of the sincerity of Continental Airlines' in its arguments for a merger with United Airlines.

In a letter to Continental's Chairman Jeffery Smisek, Kucinich said, "Continental's apparent willingness to make whatever representations are necessary to elected officials and regulators to garner support for its plans casts doubt on both Continent's stated motivations … and its intended post-merger conduct," the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Wednesday.

Concerned about the possibility of job losses and increased fares, Kucinich questioned the need for a merger, given Continental's statements that it would remain profitable with the Department of Transportation's approval to share marketing costs and coordinate flight schedules with other airlines.

"It is quite possible that any efficiency gains that are trumpeted as a result of the merger … may have already been or will soon be realized," through partnerships with others, the letter said.

Kucinich and Smisek are both scheduled to testify at a House Transportation Aviation Subcommittee review of the merger, the newspaper said.

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