STB Fails to Protect Local Communities, Workers, and Our Supply Chain
Washington, D.C. — In response to news that the Surface Transportation Board has approved a merger between two of the largest railroads, Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern, the American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement.
“This is a disgraceful decision from the Surface Transportation Board,” said Erik Peinert, Research Manager and Editor at the American Economic Liberties Project. “This $28 billion mega-merger will put even more critical transportation infrastructure in the hands of a single, powerful corporation more interested in extracting profits than operating a reliable, safe railroad system. Nothing in the history of rail consolidation suggests it is a good idea. This deal also sets the stage for future disasters like East Palestine and will likely lead to railroad staffing cuts, higher cargo loads, and other profit-driven safety shortcuts. The Surface Transportation Board is responsible for protecting local communities, workers, and our national supply chain. In approving this merger, they have failed to do that.”
The Surface Transportation Board’s decision imposes a series of behavioral remedies, including a 7-year oversight period to assure that the merged railroad does not use its newly-gained leverage to foreclose other railroads or use its position against shippers. Such behavioral remedies, oversight periods, and even consent degrees have been used in an attempt to undo the damage done by approving harmful mergers. As the example of Ticketmaster’s 2010 and 2018 consent decrees show, this approach is not effective.
Economic Liberties previously joined a number of other stakeholders in opposing this merger. Other railroads and shippers reliant on the industry have filed comments highlighting the deal’s anticompetitive nature, and Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) has most recently filed a comment letter to the Surface Transportation Board in opposition to the merger.
Read Economic Liberties’ letter to the Surface Transportation Board on the merger here.
Learn more about Economic Liberties here.