Here is an excerpt from a recent editorial.
Minnesota is being battered by the current wave of corporate mergers. Norwest Corp. merged with Wells Fargo Co., changed its name and moved its headquarters to San Francisco.
Then Honeywell Inc. was bought by Allied Signal Inc. and also moved its headquarters out of state.
Now Pillsbury is in the process of being sold to longtime rival General Mills, also based in Minneapolis.
Mergers usually result in the loss of jobs and often in the loss of influence that results from having a major national corporate headquarters located in the state.
Even more threatening is the possible series of mergers in the airline industry. ...
Some have predicted that the final result will be three large airlines that will handle 85 percent of all the commercial flights in the United States.
That degree of concentration of ownership will make the Big Three surviving airlines immune to the threat of competition and allow them to design their operations to maximize profitability rather than improve service.
The monopolistic trend started with United Airlines, already the biggest carrier. It is seeking to buy US Airways Inc., the sixth-largest commercial airline. ...
United's move prompted similar plans by American Airlines and Continental Airlines. American is reported to have bid $44 per share of Northwest, which is holding out for a much higher offer.
Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch has opposed the American-Northwest merger and is seeking funds to pursue legal action. He also has discussed the issue with attorneys general of other states that would be affected. His efforts should be supported by Gov. Jesse Ventura.
Airline service is poor today. It will only get worse if it is concentrated in the hands of only three carriers.
--Post-Bulletin of Rochester
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.