Will JetBlue announce that it has acquired Spirit Airlines before 2026?

Metaculus
★★★☆☆
7%
Very unlikely
Yes

Question description

On July 28, 2022, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines announced that their boards of directors had approved a merger between the two companies through which JetBlue would acquire Spirit for $33.50 a share, at an enterprise value of $7.6 billion, and following the merger would eventually operate as a single airline under the JetBlue name and be the 5th largest airline in the United States. The airlines planned to complete the transaction in the first half of 2024. On October 19, 2022 Spirit's shareholders approved the deal.

On March 7, 2023, the US Department of Justice announced an antitrust lawsuit to block the acquisition on the grounds that it would harm consumers by eliminating an ultra-low-cost carrier, which would result in, according to the DOJ, "raising costs for the flying public and harming cost-conscious fliers most acutely." JetBlue and Spirit announced that they would "vigorously defend" against the DOJ's suit, arguing that the post-merger JetBlue would be a stronger and more competitive airline against the legacy carriers.

According to research by McKinsey, in any given year about 10% of large M&A transactions are cancelled, with larger combinations being more likely to be cancelled. The 2nd most common reason for mergers to be terminated is for regulatory or antitrust concerns. A recent legal analysis finds the DOJ under the Biden Administration to have a more expansive view of antitrust and a willingness to go to trial even when facing difficult cases. This has resulted in a string of defeats but also recent victories such as blocking the acquisition of Simon & Schuster by Penguin Random House.

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7%
Very unlikely

On July 28, 2022, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines announced that their boards of directors had approved a merger between the two companies through which JetBlue would acquire Spirit for $33.50 a share, at an enterprise value of $7.6 billion, and...

Last updated: 2024-04-18
★★★☆☆
Metaculus
Forecasts: 63

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