United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAUA) and Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today announced they have been notified by the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) of the termination of its Hart-Scott-Rodino Act review and the closing of its investigation of the airlines’ pending merger.
The merger currently expected to close by October 1
“We are pleased to have achieved this critical milestone and look forward to our respective stockholders’ votes next month, following which we expect to be on track to close our merger by October 1st,” said Glenn Tilton, UAL Corporation chairman, president and CEO. “The combination of United and Continental will create a world class airline, which will deliver an industry leading network for our customers and the communities we serve, career opportunities for our people, and value and return for our stockholders.”
“The completion of DOJ’s review is an important step on our journey of creating the world’s leading airline, benefiting our customers, co-workers, communities and stockholders,” said Jeff Smisek, Continental’s chairman, president and CEO. “The DOJ’s decision permits us to clear one of the last regulatory hurdles to closing our merger.”
Continental and United also would like to acknowledge the efforts of the United States Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration as the companies work through the merger process. In addition, Continental and United remain engaged in discussions with the state attorneys general who are reviewing the merger, and hope to conclude those discussions expeditiously with a positive outcome.
Continental and United announced an all-stock merger of equals on May 3, 2010, and currently expect the transaction to close by Oct. 1, 2010, subject to stockholder approvals and customary closing conditions. Both companies have scheduled special stockholder meetings on Sept. 17, 2010, for approval of the merger.
United and Continental received clearance from the European Commission on the airlines’ proposed merger in July, which noted its investigation found the transaction would not raise competitive concerns in Europe or on trans-Atlantic routes.