That shouldn’t come as a lot of a shock, however it appears just like the merger between JetBlue and Spirit may face some regulatory points sooner quite than later…
The DOJ will file a lawsuit to dam the JetBlue-Spirit merger
POLITICO studies that the Division of Justice (DOJ) will quickly file a lawsuit to dam the merger between JetBlue and Spirit. In response to sources, this might occur as early as March 2023, though no last choice has been made but.
Federal antitrust companies have been busy beneath the Biden administration, as we see the DOJ presently difficult the American and JetBlue Northeast Alliance (no last choice there but).
As a reminder, the $3.8 billion merger between JetBlue and Spirit was introduced in July 2022. It’s been a bumpy street to even get thus far because it was introduced in February 2022 that Frontier and Spirit could be merging.
JetBlue did all the things it may to forestall this, together with trying a hostile takeover, and it labored. The merger plans between Frontier and Spirit have been ended shortly earlier than the JetBlue deal was introduced.
The DOJ intends to dam the merger of JetBlue and Spirit
JetBlue & Spirit awaited DOJ overview
Remember the fact that simply because the DOJ plans to contest this merger doesn’t imply it received’t ultimately occur. The almost certainly end result is that some concessions must be made to ensure that the merger to be accredited, be it giving up slots at sure airports, committing to some presence in some markets, and so forth. Certainly, this is able to have been stunning if the merger was accredited with out contest.
Clearly, JetBlue and Spirit anticipated this, and that’s one of many the reason why the merger between Frontier and Spirit was initially favored. When the JetBlue merger was introduced, the deal wasn’t scheduled to shut till the primary half of 2024, reflecting how lengthy the street could be.
On this context, Spirit’s inventory value clearly displays considerations in regards to the approval of this deal. The deal sees JetBlue buying Spirit for $33.50 per share in money. At present, Spirit’s inventory value is lower than 60% of that, which instantly displays this concern.
JetBlue & Spirit knew they might be beneath scrutiny with this deal
My tackle the DOJ questioning the JetBlue-Spirit merger
On the one hand, I don’t suppose the merger between JetBlue and Spirit might be good for competitors. JetBlue and Spirit each deliver one thing distinctive to the market and I admire each airways. However I’m undecided in the event that they’re nice collectively. It’s just like how I like ice cream and I like pizza, however I don’t need pizza flavored ice cream. This merger would go away Frontier and Allegiant as the one main ultra-low-cost airways in america.
However, blocking a merger between JetBlue and Spirit looks as if an arbitrary place to attract a line. Over the previous 15 years, we’ve seen mergers between the biggest airways within the US with regulators doing subsequent to nothing. The time to dam issues would have been again once we noticed the formation of recent day American, Delta and United.
However now abruptly blocking a merger that may end in an airline that may nonetheless be considerably smaller than the “large 4” looks as if an arbitrary line of demarcation. This additionally displays the completely different approaches of the completely different administrations.
I might miss Spirit’s “Huge Entrance Seat” if accredited
Unsurprisingly, the Justice Division is planning to file a lawsuit over the JetBlue-Spirit merger, and it may accomplish that as early as March. The Biden administration is taking a more durable stance on antitrust points, and this displays that.
It stays to be seen whether or not something will come of this. The almost certainly end result is that some concessions must be made. The worth of this deal appeared marginal at first, and that might solely make the worth proposition worse.
What do you consider the lawsuit filed by the DOJ over the JetBlue-Spirit merger?