As American Airlines parent company AMR tries to sort itself out during bankruptcy proceedings, there are already a few vultures circling it. A report says Delta Air Lines and U.S. Airways are considering buying AMR, along with a buyout firm called TPG Capital.
The Wall Street Journal cites people familiar with the matter who said the three companies are separately studying bids for AMR Corp. Two months ago it became the last of the legacy airlines to file for bankruptcy protection. It’s currently the third largest airline in the U.S., after United and Continental merged and Delta has gone through a successful expansion.
Although the three potential buyers have declined to comment, the buzz is building enough that shares of Delta rose Thursday, according to the Detroit Free Press. Airlines have been merging left and right, it seems, since 2008. When companies merge and shrink the pool of competitors down by doing so, it makes it easier for the industry to raise prices.
Because a merger between Delta and American would be pretty darn big, regulators will likely take a long hard look at any such deal. After all, Delta previously gobbled up Northwest Airlines in October 2008 so ingesting yet another airline is a big move. Didn’t we all learn a lesson from the AT&T/T-Mobile debacle? Monopolies aren’t gonna fly that easily.
Delta may try to buy troubled AMR [Detroit Free Press]
Rivals Eye American Airlines [Wall Street Journal]