Today, the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts has blocked a $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit Airlines by JetBlue.
The court, backed by the Biden Administration, stated that they found the proposed takeover to be unlawful as it “does violence to the core principle of antitrust law: to protect the United States’ markets – and its market participants – from anticompetitive harm.”
U.S. District Judge, William Young, said the government had proven that the motion “would substantially lessen competition” and violated a century-old antitrust law, according to an article posted on ABC News.
The ruling has had a split reception. Consumers and antitrust enthusiasts celebrate as they believe ticket prices will remain lower at Spirit without the merger.
But airline experts are not as joyful about the ruling, as the opposition feels there isn’t a fighting chance for Spirit or JetBlue to remain competitive with other major airlines if they do not join forces.
Both JetBlue and Spirit disagree with the ruling, as they claim they have yet to fully recover from the pandemic, while competitor airlines have had a bigger return back to their previous profits.
This ruling will open the door for Frontier and Spirit to join forces once and for all, as Frontier and Spirit intended to merge before JetBlue made a higher bid.
Now that the merger has been blocked, Frontier has a fighting chance once again.