Shareholders OK Delta-Northwest Merger

Deal awaits approval from antitrust regulators
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2008 2:45 PM CDT
Northwest Airlines CEO Doug Steenland, right center, speaks with workers following a Northwest Airlines shareholders' meeting in New York, Thursday Sept. 25, 2008.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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(Newser) – Shareholders of Delta and Northwest voted nearly unanimously today to approve the airlines' merger, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. With shareholders in agreement, federal antitrust regulators must now approve the deal. A Justice Department decision is expected late this year, but labor issues remain. Dozens of workers protested today outside the Northwest shareholders’ meeting in New York, shouting, “What do we want? No merger!”

If the deal goes through, Northwest shareholders will receive 1.25 shares in the new firm, to be called Delta, for each Northwest share they own. The airlines’ boards support the merger, but the union that represents Northwest’s workers has opposed the merger, questioning the risks to job security when the firms’ labor forces are integrated.