Baucus, Tester Cautious on Delta-Northwest Merger

Senators Want Assurances Montana Won’t Be Hurt By Mega Deal

(Washington, D.C.) – Montana's U.S. Senators are reserving judgment on the impending merger between Delta and Northwest Airlines, saying they'll oppose the deal without assurances Montana's service and rates will be protected.

Northwest Airlines and Delta serve multiple cities across Montana. The two companies announced the planned merger Monday. The U.S. Justice Department must still approve the merger.

Max Baucus and Jon Tester today noted that when US Airways previously attempted to merge with Delta, former Delta chief Gerald Grinstein said before the Senate Commerce Committee in 2007, "small communities will certainly suffer.  With less competition, fares will increase."

"Jon and I want to make sure this merger is in Montana's best interest," Baucus said. "Our economy relies on efficient air travel for jobs, business recruitment, and economic development. I won't support this deal unless we get assurances that this is a good deal for Montana."

"What's good for Corporate America may not be what's right for Montanans, and we're not going to give a thumbs up to anything of this magnitude without asking tough questions first," Tester said. "Max and I want to hear directly from company top brass on how this deal will affect Montana. Our jobs and economy depend on it."