The antitrust lawsuit seeking to prevent the merger of JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines will be heard by the United States District Court in Massachusetts on October 16th, 2023, reported SimpleFlying.
JetBlue Airways proposed a merger with Spirit Airlines in a billion-dollar deal for the summer of 2022. This acquisition would make JetBlue the fifthlargest airline in the US, competing directly with other major domestic carriers. The four domestic airlines, Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines, currently make up around 80% of the aviation market share in the United States.
The United States Department of Justice stepped in shortly after the merger was announced. The Justice Department is suing to block the $3.8 billion acquisition to prevent industry consolidation. The Justice Department released a statement in addition to the complaint, stating,
“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. Spirit itself put it simply: ‘A JetBlue acquisition of Spirit will have lasting negative impacts on consumers.'”