Alaska Airlines settles lawsuit against Virgin America deal

AP News
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Posted: Dec 07, 2016 6:38 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Alaska Airlines has removed its last major hurdle to buying Virgin America.

Alaska said Wednesday it agreed to settle a private antitrust lawsuit that threatened to hold up its $2.6 billion purchase of Virgin America.

Seattle-based Alaska did not disclose terms of the settlement, which came days before a trial on the lawsuit was scheduled to begin in federal district court in San Francisco.

The settlement also came a day after the U.S. Justice Department approved the purchase, but only after Alaska agreed to scale back a partnership it has with American Airlines on some routes.

The deal will make Alaska the nation's fifth-biggest airline, leapfrogging over JetBlue Airways Corp., which also tried to buy Virgin America.

Alaska said it hopes to complete the acquisition soon but gave no date.