government has approved Southwest Airlines' purchase of AirTran (Image:
Southwest's purchase of AirTran has been given government approval


The United States government approved Southwest Airlines’ purchase of AirTran Tuesday, marking the latest in a round of recent airline mergers.


The $1.04 billion deal was approved without conditions as the government concluded the takeover would not hinder competition or lead to a rise in fares.


The purchase will give Southwest a stronger presence on the East Coast with access to AirTran hubs in Atlanta and Washington.


The cash and stock transaction should be closed by May 2 and Southwest hopes to have AirTran fully integrated by the first quarter of 2012.


Source: Reuters

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