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Is airline consolidation really so bad for the flying public? On the surface it would seem that way. In 2013, for instance, 85 percent of all U.S. domestic passengers flew on one of just four airlines -– each of which expanded substantially as a result of a merger or acquisition between 2008 and 2013. Meanwhile, between 2007 and 2012, airfares rose 4 percent. Consolidation appears to have reduced competition.