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DOJ Sues to Block JetBlue-Spirit Merger

The agency is suing citing consumer harm

Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sued to block a merger between JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines, citing the possibility of higher fares and fewer consumer choices in an industry that has seen waves of consolidation over the years.

The antitrust challenge, filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, argued that the $3.8 billion deal would be particularly harmful for price-sensitive consumers who have come to depend on Spirit’s low fares. Travelers who don’t fly Spirit could also lose out, attorneys argued, because JetBlue plans to reconfigure Spirit’s planes to reduce the number of available seats in the market while eliminating an aggressive competitor with a history of lowering fares in markets with larger airlines — including price battles with JetBlue.

"In short, if not blocked, the merger of JetBlue and Spirit would result in higher fares and fewer choices for tens of millions of travelers across the country," said Attorney General Merrick Garland in announcing the filing. "The Justice Department is suing to prevent that from happening."

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Washington Post.

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