Maytag announced today it’s purchasing a portion of its rival Amana. Professor of Economics and Management George Neumann says it’s remarkable to begin with, that two big makers of top-of-the-line appliances are both located in Iowa. He says despite an image of a rural farm state, Iowa’s always had a lot of manufacturing, a strong workforce, and high wages in manufacturing. Neumann says the move isn’t a complete buyout or merger, rather a re-alignment of business lines.Neumann says Maytag’s buying the Amana divisions where it’s already strong, like ranges and microwaves. Each company is exploiting areas where they already have the advantage. Professor Neumann says we’ll still see both brand names on the market. Will layoffs follow, as they often do after a big business merger? Neumann says if there are layoffs, they’re likely to come among sales and support staff, not the blue collar line workers.