Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rumors and speculation of a potential merger between US Airways and American Airlines have been running rampant over the last couple of months. It's an important topic locally because Charlotte Douglas International Airport is US Airways' largest hub, and if US would to merge with American, which also flies out of CLT, there are concerns this could mean fewer flights and higher prices.

But it's hard to tell who's on first. In a January Charlotte Observer story, US Airways' CEO said his company is exploring a merger with American. But a week later, the Observer reported American's CEO essentially saying don't hold your breath. Then, from outside analysts there's been tons of speculation. The most recent fuel came when DomainNameWire.com uncovered Sunday that US Airways had purchased a bunch of domain names like usairways-american.com and american-usairways.com that seem to indicate plans for a merger. The Associated Press confirmed the domain purchases today, after speaking with a US Airways rep who said the company bought the domain names to prevent anyone else from buying them. A spokesman for American said his airline knew nothing about the domain names.

So, the merger might never happen, and might not actually be pursued much by either party (or perhaps not by one side). In the video below, Marek Fuchs, from TheStreet, breaks down how such rumors run wild, thanks largely to the media.


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