Antitrust suit stalls JetBlue deal in bid to save low-cost Spirit

The Biden administration’s fight against consolidation in the airline industry will be tested Tuesday with lawyers for JetBlue Airways and the Justice Department squaring off in court.

The administration is suing to block JetBlue’s proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit Airlines. The trial in federal district court in Boston could reshape the market for low-cost airlines – Spirit is by far the nation’s biggest budget carrier, and it will disappear if JetBlue wins the case.

The Justice Department is fresh off victory in a previous lawsuit that killed a partnership between JetBlue and American Airlines.

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