Unfortunately as time went on and the economy fluctuated many times the smaller

Unfortunately as time went on and the economy

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Unfortunately, as time went on and the economy fluctuated many times, the smaller airlines began to die off or be acquired by larger airlines. The result: four major US airlines. Those airlines are: American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Each of these airline conglomerates, in their present state, is a result of the acquisition of one or several smaller airlines. For example: Southwest Airlines acquired bankrupt asset of ATA Airlines in 2006 and later acquired the entire AirTran fleet in 2010 and continued operations Lynch 3
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RUNNING HEAD: OLIGOPOLIES AND AIRLINES; ONE IN THE SAME?under the Southwest name (Southwest, 2017). Rival, Delta Airlines also has a long history of airline mergers: purchasing Northeast Airlines in 1972, merging with Western Airlines in 1987, and again merging with Northwest Airlines in 2008. American Airlines topped the list in 2015 when they completed their merger with U.S. Airways, becoming the world’s largest carrier.The series of acquisitions and mergers which have occurred over the years since deregulation has allowed the “legacy” carriers to grow and dominate the airline industry. As a result, competition has become scarce, turning the industry into an oligopoly and driving up fares. (Investopedia, 2015). It is not to say, that the government has not attempted to step in and prevent the formation of this oligopoly. In 2013, the Department of Justice attempted to block themerger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways. Although the DOJ was unsuccessful in their attempts to keep competition in the market, they were able to delay completion of the merge by two years.The Result
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  • Fall '16
  • Kelly Lawton

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