United and Continental deal cleared for take off

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The U.S. Justice Department said Friday that it has closed an investigation into the proposed merger of United and Continental, paving the way for the airlines to unite later this year.

The $3.2 billion merger, which is pending a shareholder vote next month, is expected to close on October 1, 2010, the companies said in a press release. The airlines announced the all-stock deal in May.

The antitrust probe was closed after the airlines agreed to transfer takeoff and landing rights and other assets at Newark Liberty Airport to Southwest Airlines (LUV, Fortune 500), the Justice Department said in a statement.

"The completion of DOJ's review is an important step on our journey of creating the world's leading airline," said Jeff Smisek, Continental's chief executive. "The DOJ's decision permits us to clear one of the last regulatory hurdles to closing our merger."

The combined company, which will fly under the United (UAUA, Fortune 500) moniker and Continental (CAL, Fortune 500) logo, would be larger than Delta Air Lines (DAL, Fortune 500), which became the country's largest airline when it merged with Northwest Airlines in 2008. It is expected to serve more than 144 million passengers per year and fly to 370 destinations in 59 countries.

The European Commission on the airlines approved the proposed merger in July.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,804.71 -238.19 -1.40%
Nasdaq 4,422.09 -71.30 -1.59%
S&P 500 1,946.16 -26.13 -1.32%
Treasuries 2.40 -0.10 -4.19%
Data as of 8:23pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.82 -0.23 -1.35%
Ford Motor Co 14.59 -0.20 -1.34%
Facebook Inc 76.55 -2.49 -3.15%
Apple Inc 99.18 -1.57 -1.56%
Cisco Systems Inc 25.03 -0.18 -0.72%
Data as of 4:03pm ET

Sections

In the last five years, pumpkin sales have risen 34% as people demand pumpkin in everything from beer to beef jerky. More

Facebook's chief product officer issued an apology to Sister Roma and the drag community on Wednesday for its flawed 'real name' policy. More

New York City launches a comprehensive site for all things related to its digital tech scene, Digital.NYC. More

For these seniors, the best retirement is not to retire. From a 102-year-old Wal-Mart worker to an activist park ranger, these workers have stayed on the job well into their golden years. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.