Spirit on Wednesday called off the Frontier deal moments before it was set to announce the results of a shareholder vote on it. The discount carrier delayed the vote several times, hoping to get shareholders to support it over JetBlue’s more lucrative proposal. Based on Wednesday’s closing stock price, Frontier’s cash-and-stock deal was worth $2.8 billion.
JetBlue’s acquisition of Spirit would create the nation’s fifth largest airline, making it better able to compete with bigger rivals American, Delta, Southwest, and United. The deal could face challenges from antitrust regulators.