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Feinstein and Gleklen Discuss Biden Administration's New Antitrust Rhetoric

February 8, 2024

Debbie Feinstein, head of the firm’s Global Antitrust group, and Jonathan Gleklen, chair of the firm’s U.S. Antitrust/Competition practice, were featured in the Yahoo! Finance article, “Mergers lose their shine as Biden racks up antitrust wins.” The article summarizes the Biden Administration’s recent antitrust wins, which have prompted executives to reassess new acquisitions in 2024.

Feinstein told Yahoo! Finance that the Administration’s latest rhetoric is “anti-merger,” and as a result, corporate lawyers think some deals may be getting derailed. “Even if they think they can get them through, they think it will take longer, they may have to litigate, and they may want to not have to do that,” she said. Gleklen added that more companies are receiving “second requests” from federal officials which require additional information that may delay reviews.

Gleklen discussed JetBlue Airways’ acquisition of Spirit Airlines, which was recently blocked by a judge on concerns the merger was anticompetitive and would result in higher prices for consumers. Federal officials argued that Spirit Airlines operated in a different market because it offered ultra low-cost fares. “That’s a more aggressive theory,” Gleklen said, explaining that past airline merger challenges treated commercial air carriers as equals, regardless of the average fare prices.

Read the full article.