Biden administration moving toward blocking JetBlue-Spirit merger, Politico reports

The U.S. Department of Justice is likely to sue to block a pending $3.8 billion merger between JetBlue Airways Corp and Spirit Airlines Inc, Politico reported on Friday, citing five people with knowledge of the matter. The DoJ could file a suit as soon as March, according to the report, which added that people in the department's anti-trust division have competing opinions about whether to bring a case.

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"We continue to work through the regulatory process to demonstrate how this merger will increase competition in the airline industry," JetBlue said in an emailed statement.

Spirit did not respond to a Reuters request for comment, while the DoJ declined to comment.

Shares of JetBlue and Spirit were flat in extended trading on Friday.

Earlier this week, JetBlue officials answered questions and gave depositions as the DoJ pressed on with its anti-trust review.


On Feb. 8, Spirit Airlines said it expects U.S. anti-trust regulators to decide whether to allow the low-cost carrier to proceed with the merger in the "next 30 days or so".

JetBlue prevailed in a months-long bidding war for Spirit Airlines after the ultra-low-cost carrier accepted its offer in late July.

Since then, Spirit shares are down about 20%, while those of JetBlue have fallen marginally.

Source: Reuters

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