US DOJ clears Alaska’s acquisition of Virgin America
On the 6th of December 2016, the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has completed its review and approved Alaska Air Group's acquisition of Virgin America.
Alaska Air Group Chairman and CEO Brad Tilden said: "With this combination now cleared for take-off, we're thrilled to bring these two companies together and start delivering our low fares and great service to an even larger group of customers."
Alaska was not required to divest any assets as a condition of DOJ clearance.
Alaska said that it agreed to implement limited changes to its codeshare agreement with American Airlines. The majority of Alaska and American codeshare flights will remain intact. The DOJ did not require changes to any other agreements between Alaska and American, including interline or reciprocal loyalty agreements, or any of Alaska's other airline partnerships.
The company plans to close the transaction in the very near future, taking into account the lawsuit filed by private plaintiffs in US District Court in San Francisco. Alaska considered that the lawsuits of this kind are not uncommon with mergers. The company said that the plaintiffs' claims are without merit and plans to defend its acquisition of Virgin America accordingly.
Tilden added: "We remain confident in the merits of this transaction. The expanded West Coast presence and larger customer base create an enhanced platform for growth, which is good for investors, employees and especially customers – who benefit from more choices, increased competition and low fares."
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