MIL-OSI Security: Justice Department Statements on District Court Decision to Block JetBlue’s Acquisition of Spirit Airlines

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Source: United States Department of Justice

Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts blocked JetBlue Airways’ $3.8 billion dollar acquisition of Spirit Airlines. The court found that JetBlue’s proposed takeover of Spirit is unlawful because it “does violence to the core principle of antitrust law: to protect the United States’ markets – and its market participants – from anticompetitive harm.”

“Today’s ruling is a victory for tens of millions of travelers who would have faced higher fares and fewer choices had the proposed merger between JetBlue and Spirit been allowed to move forward,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously enforce the nation’s antitrust laws to protect American consumers. I want to thank the Antitrust Division for their excellent work on this case.”

“The Court’s decision today reaffirms that the antitrust laws vindicate the economic liberty of the American people,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Doha Mekki of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “We are particularly encouraged by the court’s acknowledgement of the role of the Justice Department in protecting consumers ‘who otherwise would have no voice’ and the ‘forthrightness, civility, and zealous advocacy’ that ‘assisted the Court in reaching out for justice.’ I am incredibly proud of the Antitrust Division’s staff and our state law enforcement partners whose tireless work ensured another airline merger would not harm American travelers.”

The court’s decision follows a 17-day trial that began in October 2023. In March 2023, the Justice Department, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New, Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia sued to stop the merger under Section 7 of the Clayton Act.

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