Jetblue-Spirit merger blocked

Old Jan 16, 2024, 11:07 am
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Jetblue-Spirit merger blocked

Per OMAAT...

In sum, the Court has made its best attempt, applying the law to the evidence in this case, to predict the future of a dynamic market recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, in markedly uncertain times.55 For the reasons set forth above, therefore, the Court rules that the proposed acquisition violates Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Spirit is a small airline. But there are those who love it. To those dedicated customers of Spirit, this one’s for you. Why? Because the Clayton Act, a 109-year-old statute requires this result –- a statute that continues to deliver for the American people.

In light of the foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, it is hereby ORDERED that the Defendant Airlines, their agents, servants, employees, and all persons acting in concert with either of them, are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from executing the proposed merger as agreed on July 28, 2022.
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by steveholt
Per OMAAT...

In sum, the Court has made its best attempt, applying the law to the evidence in this case, to predict the future of a dynamic market recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, in markedly uncertain times.55 For the reasons set forth above, therefore, the Court rules that the proposed acquisition violates Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Spirit is a small airline. But there are those who love it. To those dedicated customers of Spirit, this one’s for you. Why? Because the Clayton Act, a 109-year-old statute requires this result –- a statute that continues to deliver for the American people.

In light of the foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, it is hereby ORDERED that the Defendant Airlines, their agents, servants, employees, and all persons acting in concert with either of them, are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from executing the proposed merger as agreed on July 28, 2022.
Pretty tough year for JetBlue on the strategic front... strategically the government is basically saying they have to grind it out and compete with UA, AA, Delta, etc on product while also competing with Spirit, Frontier, etc on price, without the help of mergers, cost synergies, alliances, etc.
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 11:42 am
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This made my morning. Nothing could be worse than integrating a decent (though as of late operationally flawed) airline with a bottom feeder like Spirit. Friends do not let friends fly Spirit.

Frontier/Spirit was always the better merger. If B6 needs a partner AS would be the natural choice though they are busy now digesting HA (assuming DOJ doesn't try to block that one, too).
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by Boraxo
This made my morning. Nothing could be worse than integrating a decent (though as of late operationally flawed) airline with a bottom feeder like Spirit. Friends do not let friends fly Spirit.

Frontier/Spirit was always the better merger. If B6 needs a partner AS would be the natural choice though they are busy now digesting HA (assuming DOJ doesn't try to block that one, too).
Operationally flawed to say the least - I think I saw a 68% on-time rate last year for B6? Hopefully this sparks a change in strategy to focus on the basics, because the product can't compensate for how bad the operations are these days (nor would a merger with Spirit fix that)
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 12:01 pm
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If they want planes & pilots, they should look into acquiring Breeze. They could also wait and buy the assets if Breeze goes under. The fleets would be very compatible 20 A-220 and 17 E-190/E195 frames.
I haven;t flown Breeze, but I assume that the corporate cultures would be more compatible than JetBlue / Spirit.
I can't really see the DOJ trying to block this one.
I also suspect that there are a bunch of Breeze investors who would like to see some return on their investment.
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 12:17 pm
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Awwww... little B6 better start begging AA to take them back now LOL
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 12:21 pm
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What are the odds we can start earning AA again on JetBlue?
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by AMflier
If they want planes & pilots, they should look into acquiring Breeze. They could also wait and buy the assets if Breeze goes under. The fleets would be very compatible 20 A-220 and 17 E-190/E195 frames.
I haven;t flown Breeze, but I assume that the corporate cultures would be more compatible than JetBlue / Spirit.
I can't really see the DOJ trying to block this one.
I also suspect that there are a bunch of Breeze investors who would like to see some return on their investment.
It'd also increase JetBlue's presence in RDU if they want it. I think before the pandemic, JetBlue wanted to offer RDU-LAX and maybe RDU-SFO too.
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 1:19 pm
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[mod edit] This merger is so small compared to the American/US Airways merger it is absolutely absurd this was blocked and American/US Airways was approved. Timing is everything in life.

Last edited by NewbieRunner; Jan 16, 2024 at 1:45 pm Reason: Redacted OT political comment.
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by AMflier
If they want planes & pilots, they should look into acquiring Breeze. They could also wait and buy the assets if Breeze goes under. The fleets would be very compatible 20 A-220 and 17 E-190/E195 frames.
I haven;t flown Breeze, but I assume that the corporate cultures would be more compatible than JetBlue / Spirit.
I can't really see the DOJ trying to block this one.
I also suspect that there are a bunch of Breeze investors who would like to see some return on their investment.
Buy Breeze for the CEO.
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 2:43 pm
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Jet Blue should acquire a regional carrier, like Sky West and use it as a feeder to their operations. They'll be unable to compete with the big 3 and Alaska until that happens.
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by veliger
[mod edit] This merger is so small compared to the American/US Airways merger it is absolutely absurd this was blocked and American/US Airways was approved. Timing is everything in life.
Originally that merger was blocked too but was settled with concessions. American gave up not only US Airways LGA slots but also some of its own slots at LGA to LCCs. I used to think that was crazy given that Delta had more slots in LGA than American plus US Airways. American was giving up so much but American was desperate to get the merger approved that it conceded it.

JetBlue thought eliminating a ULCC could be handled by concessions, and why not offer least first before the lawsuit. But, when it offered minimal concessions initially, JetBlue seemed brash. It was blocked and then JetBlue offered more concessions, including the ones at EWR and BOS, a deal later made with Allegiant etc.. I kind of wonder if JetBlue off the bat offered to give up slots/gates at all of these airports, would it shaped the deal differently before the lawsuit was started.

Anyways, this was likely a blessing in hindsight.
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 3:41 pm
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Originally Posted by notthatdeadyet
Buy Breeze for the CEO.
That would be an added bonus.
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 3:47 pm
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This is great news for the consumer!! JetBlue wanted to eliminate a huge ULCC on the East Coast and raise fares. Glad this DOJ has said enough to mergers that just hurt consumers.
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Old Jan 16, 2024, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by beyondhere
It'd also increase JetBlue's presence in RDU if they want it. I think before the pandemic, JetBlue wanted to offer RDU-LAX and maybe RDU-SFO too.
Not sure Breeze would move the needle in RDU - B6 has 3x the operation by passenger count and Breeze would only add another 10K passengers.

I would have loved to see them go after RDU/BNA/AUS given that none of the big boys seemed to want to commit as hubs, but it may just be too late to really get in at this point.
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