Mar 4, 2024 - Business

JetBlue officially terminates $3.8B pursuit of Spirit

JetBlue

(Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images)

JetBlue formally ended its troubled pursuit of Spirit Airlines more than a month after a federal judge blocked the $3.8 billion takeover on antitrust grounds.

Why it matters: The deal's demise highlights the current antitrust regime within the U.S. Department of Justice and means the two companies will have to manage through the airline industry independently.

Zoom in: JetBlue said the companies reached an agreement that will pay Spirit $69 million, and that it resolves all outstanding matters related to the deal.

  • "After discussing our options with our advisors and JetBlue, we concluded that current regulatory obstacles will not permit us to close this transaction in a timely fashion under the merger agreement," Spirit CEO Ted Christie said in a statement.
  • Christie went on to take aim at the DOJ's resistance to the deal, saying that the deal would have favored travelers and challenged the "dominant" top four U.S. airlines.
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