Alaska/Virgin America Merger Approved

Alaska Air Group’s merger with Virgin America has been cleared by the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

Approval was given on condition that Alaska implements “limited” changes to its codeshare agreement with American Airlines, though it is not required to divest any assets.

“We couldn’t be more excited about receiving DOJ clearance for our merger with Virgin America,” said Alaska Air Group Chairman and CEO Brad Tilden. “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 Air Group, the parent firm of Alaska Airlines, 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”.  The company says the “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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