Alaska Air, Virgin America Face Bumpy Antitrust Ride

By Linda Chiem (April 4, 2016, 10:19 PM EDT) -- Alaska Air's proposed $2.6 billion acquisition of Virgin America comes as U.S. antitrust regulators have increasingly targeted airlines for shrinking competition, ensuring the deal will be carefully scrutinized by the U.S. Department of Justice for maintaining competitive routes and fares, experts say.

While the proposed tie-up doesn't involve North American heavyweights known as the legacy carriers, it calls for bringing together two regional players with well-established and seemingly complementary route networks to create the country's fifth-largest airline if the DOJ's Antitrust Division gives the thumbs-up.

But experts say it won't all be clear skies, given the DOJ's toughening stance against further...

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