April 15th, 2024

JetBlue, Spirit ending $3.8B deal to combine after court ruling blocked their merger

By The Associated Press on March 4, 2024.

FILE - A Jet Blue jetliner taxis down a runway as a Southwest Airlines airliner takes off from Denver International Airport Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Denver. Shares of JetBlue are rising more than 15% before the market open on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, as activist investor Carl Icahn took an almost 10% stake in the airline. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

JetBlue and Spirit Airlines are ending their proposed $3.8 billion combination after a court ruling blocked their merger.

JetBlue said Monday that even though both companies still believe in the benefits of a combination, they felt they were unlikely to meet the required closing conditions before the July 24 deadline and mutually agreed that terminating the deal was the best decision for both.

The Justice Department sued to block the merger last year, saying it would reduce competition and drive up fares, especially for travelers who depend on low-fare Spirit.

In January, a federal district judge in Boston sided with the government and blocked the deal, saying it violated antitrust law.

The airlines had appealed the ruling. The appeal hearing had been set for June.

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