Title

Merger Activity and Short-Run Financial Performance in the US Airline Industry

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

This article examines the announcement and post-merger effects of three US airline mergers—America West and US Airways, Delta and Northwest, and United and Continental. The time series data consist of daily and cumulative abnormal returns using the Standard and Poor's 500 as the benchmark index. The event study methodology uses ±60 trading days around the announcement and merger dates. The share prices of United and America West increased while Delta's decreased due to the slowing US economy at the time of its merger with Northwest. The impact of the merger announcement on target airlines is positive except for Northwest due to the weakening demand for air transport as the US economy faltered at the time of its merger with Delta. The share prices of acquiring and target airlines increased around the merger completion date, suggesting that new information is available as the merger nears completion.

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