DOJ case to block JetBlue’s purchase of Spirit is assigned to a different judge
The Ministry of Justice lawsuit to block from JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) plans to buy Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion (New York stock market :TO SAFEGUARD) was reassigned to a new judge.
The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge William Young in Boston after he was assigned Tuesday to U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin, who was also the judge overseeing the The DOJ lawsuit challenging the Northeast Alliance, where the government tries to end an alliance between American Airlines (AAL) and Spirit (TO SAFEGUARD) on the northeast corridor.
The DOJ wanted Sorokin to hear the DOJ case trying to block the SAVE/JBLU deal because he was already involved in the Northeast Alliance case, according to a Reuters report.
Judge Young is known as a jurist who tries to speed up the trial of cases, Reuters said. Sorokin heard the Northeast Alliance case in late September and could make a decision at any time.
On Tuesday, the executives of Spirit (TO SAFEGUARD) and JetBlue have refuted DOJ claims of negative consumer impact resulting from the merger.
Spirit Airlines (TO SAFEGUARD) increased by 2.2% Wednesday after gaining 4.7% on Tuesday even following news of the DOJ lawsuit. JetBlue fell 2.1%.
On Tuesday, US Attorney Merrick Garland Garland said the proposed merger between JetBlue (TO SAFEGUARD) and Spirit (TO SAFEGUARD) “exacerbates” the competition concerns posed by the NEA. However, even without the NEA, the the agreement would be considered anti-competitive.