Delta And Northwest Merge – No Auditors Were Harmed In The Process

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Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp., after three months of twists and turns, Monday received approval from their boards to merge in a deal that would create the world’s largest airline by traffic — if the agreement can pass regulatory muster and overcome potentially serious employee resistance…

Northwest has been pursuing a deal with Delta for more than two years, but the idea didn’t get much traction until both carriers emerged from bankruptcy-court protection in the spring of 2007 and Delta that fall named a new chief executive officer, Richard Anderson. The two now must embark on a potentially long road to obtain antitrust clearance from the Justice Department, a journey they hope to complete before the administration changes in Washington in January. The airlines have little route overlap, which should give the transaction a better chance of getting through. If the deal goes ahead, the combined airline will keep the Delta name, be based at Delta’s Atlanta headquarters and be run by Mr. Anderson.

Ernst and Young audits both companies.

Instead of two smaller losers, now they’re going to audit one really big one.