California, Maryland, New Jersey, and North Carolina joined the US Department of Justice’s March lawsuit hoping to prevent JetBlue Airways from purchasing rival Spirit Airlines.
The four states and the DOJ claim the $3.8 billion merger in an industry dominated by large companies would have a negative impact on customers, a trend that the Biden Administration is trying to thwart.
It "will lead to higher fares and fewer seats, harming millions of consumers on hundreds of routes," the lawsuit states.
"We look forward to litigating this important case alongside our state law enforcement partners to stop JetBlue from eliminating its rival, Spirit," Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Doha Mekki said in a statement.
JetBlue countered in a statement, saying "it’s unfortunate that these states have decided to join the DOJ’s effort to protect the dominant position of the four largest airlines in the U.S."
In a separate action, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody resolved a state probe into the proposed deal after JetBlue and Spirit agreed to increase seat capacity by at least 50% in the Fort Lauderdale and Orlando airports if the merger goes through.