Lee Statement on Delta acquisition of significant stake in Virgin Atlantic

December 11, 2012

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Mike Lee, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee, issued the following statement regarding Delta Air Lines Inc.’s announcement that it will acquire a 49 percent share of Virgin Atlantic Airways for $360 million.

“Delta’s acquisition of almost half of Virgin Atlantic’s shares has the potential to benefit the company and consumers, including many Utah residents who take advantage of Delta’s Salt Lake City hub.  The planned joint venture between the companies would expand Delta’s access to Heathrow Airport in London, increase its resources to compete with other airlines, and augment its flexibility to serve customers.  At the same time, consolidation can sometimes pose a threat to competition as fewer providers dominate a larger share of a market.  As with all transactions of this significance, I will take a close look to ensure that it complies with antitrust laws and will be in the best interest of consumers.”