Pluralistic: Boeing, Spirit and Jetblue, a monopoly horror-story (21 Jan 2024)

Today’s links Boeing, Spirit and Jetblue, a monopoly horror-story: 43 years later, Reagan’s other shoe drops. Hey look at this: Delights to delectate. This day in history: 2004, 2009, 2014, 2019, 2023 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading Boeing, Spirit and Jetblue, a monopoly horror-story (permalink) Last week, William Young, an 82 year old federal judge appointed by Ronald Reagan, blocked the merger of Spirit Airlines and Jetblue. It was a seismic event: Seismic because the judge’s opinion is full of rhetoric associated with the surging antitrust revival, sneeringly dismissed by corporate apologists as “hipster antitrust.” Young called America’s airlines and “oligopoly,” a situation he blamed on out-of-control mergers. As Matt Stoller writes, this is the first airline merger to be blocked by the DOJ and DOT since deregulation in 1978: The judge wasn’t shy about why he was reviving a pre-Jimmy Carter theory of antitrust: “[the merger] does violence to the core principle of antitrust law, ‘to protect] markets –- and its market participants — from anticompetitive harm.” The legal arguments the judge advances are fascinating and worthy of study: But what really caught my eye was David Dayen’s American Prospect article about the judge’s commentary on the state of the aviation industry: Why, after all, have Spirit and Jetblue been so ardent in pursuing mergers? Jetblue has had two failed merger attempts with Virgin, and this is the third time they’ve failed in an attempt to merge with Spirit. Spirit,…Pluralistic: Boeing, Spirit and Jetblue, a monopoly horror-story (21 Jan 2024)

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