RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has initiated an antitrust lawsuit to prevent JetBlue's acquisition of Spirit Airlines, citing concerns over reduced competition and potential negative impacts on fliers.

The lawsuit contends that the proposed deal, a $3.8 billion hostile takeover of Spirit, could lead to increased costs and decreased reliability for passengers. Both airlines operate multiple routes in and out of North Carolina, including popular flights between Greensboro, Raleigh, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale.

Stein emphasized the importance of budget airlines for affordable travel, stating, "This merger risks diminishing competition in the air travel industry, resulting in fewer flight options and higher costs for travelers. While the airlines may stand to benefit from the merger, their customers could suffer. That is why I am calling on the court to halt this deal."

Joining forces with the U.S. Department of Justice, Stein's complaint is also supported by the attorneys general of Massachusetts, New York, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, California, and Connecticut.