United and Continental win antitrust approval for their merger

United Airlines (Chicago) has secured U.S. antitrust approval to merge with Continental Airlines (Houston) yesterday (August 27), throwing a sweetener to rival Southwest Airlines (Dallas) to allow the creation of the world’s largest carrier according to this report by Reuters.

United and Continental struck a deal to give Southwest some take-off and landing rights at a key airport hub, Newark Liberty International Airport near New York City, to get the approval from the U.S. Justice Department — a decision that came sooner than industry insiders had expected.

Continental and United have scheduled special stockholder meetings on September 17 to vote for approval of the merger and its is expected the deal will be closed by October 1. The deal won clearance from the European Commission in July 2010.

Read the full report: