JetBlue on Wednesday said it would not appeal the May ruling by U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin, which ordered American and JetBlue to undo their Northeast Alliance partnership.
JetBlue reportedly will not appeal the ruling, despite not agreeing with it, in order to protect its planned purchase of Spirit Airlines, a $3.8 billion purchase that had caught the ire of lawmakers and the Justice Department for its potential to eliminate competition.
The Justice Department (DOJ) had specifically cited the Northeast Alliance when it filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the Spirit deal. JetBlue believes that the Northeast Alliance ruling will eliminate the DOJ’s objections.
JetBlue, which had previously stated it planned to appeal the ruling, told American its decision last week. American, for its part, still plans on appealing the ruling, according to Reuters.
Even with the move, there are still questions over whether or not the Spirit deal will be approved by the DOJ—just as the DOJ cited a cut in competition for the Northeast Alliance ruling, it could have the same objections with JetBlue’s Spirit acquisition.
According to Attorney General Merrick Garland, just four carriers control more than 80% of domestic air travel within the U.S.