: Justice Department sues to block JetBlue-Spirit merger

by | Mar 7, 2023 | Stock Market

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued to block the merger of JetBlue Airways Corp. and Spirit Airlines Inc., saying the plan would eliminate competition and stick travelers with higher fares. The two airlines last year agreed to combine in a $3.8 billion deal with the aim of creating the fifth-largest airline in the U.S.

and Spirit
have said that combining their operations would boost competition in the domestic airline industry, not hurt it. “JetBlue’s plan would eliminate the unique competition that Spirit provides — and about half of all ultra-low-cost airline seats in the industry — and leave tens of millions of travelers to face higher fares and fewer options,” the DOJ said in the complaint. The acquisition would also stop the growth of Spirit, it said. Spirit has doubled the size of its network, and the DOJ said it was expected to continue expanding “at a quick pace.” “The acquisition stops this future competition before it starts,” and a JetBlue acquisition of Spirit “will have lasting negative impacts on consumers,” the DOJ complaint said. Robin Hayes, the chief executive of JetBlue, earlier this week told the Wall Street Journal that the Biden administration’s antit …

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