Southwest Airlines Cleared to Acquire AirTran

Skadden represented Southwest Airlines before the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in securing approval for Southwest's $3.4 billion acquisition of AirTran Holdings. On April 26, the Department of Justice announced an end to its investigation, clearing the way for Southwest and AirTran to proceed to closing without any conditions. The merger is expected to generate substantial consumer benefits, including expansion of low-fare competition in U.S. airline markets, creation of broader network offerings with a wider range of flyer choices and improved quality and service. Dallas-based Southwest is the largest U.S. airline by number of passengers, serving 72 cities in 37 states.