Consumer Confidential: Airline gossip, Facebook stats, Madonna

Here's your floy-joy Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Is a merger in American Airlines' future? With the bankrupt carrier expected to cut as many as 13,000 jobs, some in the industry say the time may be ripe for a corporate marriage. US Airways, whose management has a history of making bids for larger airlines that are in bankruptcy, confirmed that it has hired investment advisors to weigh the opportunities presented by American's parent AMR Corp. Delta Air Lines reportedly hired its own investment advisors at Blackstone Group to study a bid for AMR, although neither Delta nor Blackstone would comment on it. (CNN Money)

-- Because there can't be enough Facebook news this week, here's the latest: Most Facebook users receive more from their friends than they give, according to a Pew Research Center study. Over a one-month period, 40% of users made a friend request, but 63% received a friend request. The average user presses the "like" button 14 times on other users' posts, but their friends "like" their posts 20 times. The average user sends 9 messages but receives 12, according to the study. Twelve percent of users tag someone in a photo, but 35% were tagged in photo. The study found the average Facebook user has 245 friends, but the average friend of users has 359 Facebook friends. What's it all mean? That Facebook generates a whole lot of loopy statistics along with high hopes among investors. (The Hill)

-- How's this for synergy? Madonna, who'll be performing at the Super Bowl on Sunday, is unleashing her latest single across as wide a media spectrum as possible. Radio heavyweight Clear Channel is debuting Madonna's "Give Me All Your Luvin'" simultaneously across 95 radio stations and on more than 1,600 digital billboards in the United States, France, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, Belgium, Finland and the United Kingdom, as well as on demand at, Clear Channel's customized online radio service. It's estimated that the Material Girl will reach as many as 150 million people as a result of the media blitz. (Associated Press)

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