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DOT Pauses JetBlue-Spirit Review Till After DOJ Probe

 |  March 13, 2023

The Federal Transportation Administration won’t determine if they will pursue opposition to the JetBlue and Spirit Airlines merger until the Justice Department’s current lawsuit about the transaction is concluded, reported Bloomberg.

The Department of Transportation, led by Secretary Pete Buttigieg, is scrutinizing all possible methods to introduce more competition into the airline industry. This initiative signals an ambitious effort for heightened competitiveness which has been lacking in the well-established aviation sector.

Related: DOJ Challenges JetBlue’s $3.8 Billion Spirit Deal

Last week the departments of Justice aunched a two-pronged attack on JetBlue’s $3.8 billion purchase of ultra-low-cost Spirit Airlines — an aggressive effort intended to counter decades of airline industry consolidation and ensure Americans maintain access to cheaper fares.

The DOJ suit alleges that the deal would raise prices and reduce consumer choice in travel options. JetBlue and Spirit have argued that though the merger will mean fewer seats available to passengers, fares would remain low. Attorneys general in Massachusetts, New York and the District of Columbia joined the suit.