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Saturday
Feb022008

Hell Yes, Going It Alone Remains an Option

In Washington, D.C., Congressman Oberstar says “hell nobefore hearings are held on significant issues important to the US airline industry. In Atlanta, Delta Air Lines is reminding us that there is some probability that “no” to a deal just might be the right answer at this time after the company and its board carefully review possible merger combinations.

Russell Grantham, in this morning’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution offers a clear line of sight to the issues Delta views as critical tenets of any combination. Delta’s #2 executive, Ed Bastian, is quoted in the story as saying that “any merger must meet three major goals. He said Delta won't agree to a deal unless the proposed merger: creates a global network that "fills holes" in Delta's operations; avoids burdening the combined airlines with excessive debt; and treats employees fairly and assures them of job and seniority protections”.

We seem to be hung up on the political clock. Yes it is ticking. But with vigilant focus on satisfying certain labor issues, is the time on the clock of critical importance? Personally, I would rather see the industry address those issues it knows will be important to all stakeholders before the spotlight is turned on. It seems to me that by learning from past mistakes, the political clock may be less important. And can something really be completed in 10 months?

The airline industry is not the only industry that is carefully studying and proposing possible acquisitions. Yesterday Microsoft said Yahoo - and not hell no - to a possibility of diversifying its business and in turn creating a stronger competitor to Google. Last time I checked, the internet was a global network business just like the airline industry. And we are proud of the iconish names that carry the US flag in the technology space. But I digress……

More to come.