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Exclusive: JetBlue won the battle for Spirit. Now it has to win over Biden's Justice Department –



JetBlue won the battle for Spirit. Now it has to win over Biden's Justice Department

#JetBlue #won #battle #Spirit #win #Biden039s #Justice #Department

JetBlue Airways finally won over Spirit Airlines with a $3.8 billion takeover deal. Now it needs to win over antitrust regulators.

The New York-based airline snatched Spirit away Frontier Airlines with an all-cash offer that torpedoed the cash-and-stock deal the two discount airlines had forged earlier this year. Hours after Spirit and Frontier said they terminated their merger agreement, which lacked shareholder support, Spirit said it agreed to sell itself to JetBlue.

JetBlue said it expects to win regulatory approval in the fourth quarter of next year or the first three months of 2024. The carriers expect the deal to close in the first half of 2024.

If regulators sign off, it would mean the end Spirit, a brand that has become a punchline about the indignities of discount air travel, where passengers trade comforts like standard legroom, snacks and free cabin baggage for a cheap fare.

JetBlue Airlines and Spirit Airlines are seen on the departure board in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on May 16, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Will regulators allow an ultra-low-cost airline to get absorbed during the hottest stretch of inflation in decades and remodeled into JetBlue’s image, which more closely resembles large carriers?

The regulatory hurdle is high. President Joe Biden’s Justice Department has vowed to challenge out any deals that could harm competition. Last year, it sued to block JetBlue’ alliance with American Airlines in the Northeast. A trial is set to begin in late September.


JetBlue is optimistic. The DOJ lawsuit alleges American could overpower JetBlue and says the alliance, which lets American and JetBlue coordinate routes in busy airports serving New York and Boston, amounts to “a de facto merger.”

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said a combined Spirit and JetBlue, which would become the country’s fifth-largest airline, would create a strong competitor to the big four U.S. carriers: American, Delta, United and Southwest. After more than a decade of consolidation, those carriers control roughly three-quarters of the U.S. market.

“The best thing we can do to make the industry more competitive is to make a truly national, low-fare high-quality airline to compete on a more national scale with these legacy airlines,” Hayes said in an interview. “By merging JetBlue and Spirit together, we’re able to do that much more quickly than we would do alone.”

American declined to comment. The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment but the agency’s antitrust chief, Jonathan Kanter, has promised a hard stance against anti-competition.

“It is no secret that many settlements fail to preserve competition,” Kanter said in a speech in Chicago in April. “Even divestitures may not fully preserve competition across all its dimensions in dynamic market.”

The Justice Department has signed off on airline mergers, though not without some legal battles. The combination of American Airlines and US Airways in 2013, for example, was approved at the end of that year after the department sued to stop the deal.

But it is likely to require JetBlue and Spirit to divest some of their assets in the process, said John Lopatka, a law professor who specializes in antitrust law at Penn State Law.

Without that, “there would be a public perception that [the Justice Department] just caved,” he said.

Regulators will be studying fares and overlapping routes, particularly in places such as Florida where the airlines have large operations.

“I think they’re up against a lot,” Lopatka said of JetBlue and Spirit. “I think there is almost no chance they’ll be able to pull off the merger without some concessions.”

The Transportation Department, which would also need to sign off, didn’t immediately comment.


Airlines have drawn scrutiny this year from high-profile lawmakers including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as passengers faced an increase in flight cancellations and delays, partially driven by staffing shortfalls.

“I am closely reviewing the JetBlue-Spirit merger for its impact on consumers and workers, and I expect the Department of Justice and Department of Transportation will conduct an objective investigation as well,” Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat representing Massachusetts, where JetBlue has a large operation, said in a statement


Exclusive: Rezonate raises $8.7M and launches its cloud identity protection platform out of stealth –




Rezonate raises $8.7M and launches its cloud identity protection platform out of stealth

#Rezonate #raises #87M #launches #cloud #identity #protection #platform #stealth

Rezonate, a Boston- and Tel Aviv-based startup that offers an agent-less cloud identity protection platform that aims to help DevOps teams minimize attackers’ opportunities to breach cloud identity and access, is coming out of stealth today and announcing an $8.7 million seed funding round, led by State of Mind Ventures and Flybridge, with participation from toDay Ventures, Merlin Ventures and a number of angel investors.

Founded in January 2022, Rezonate is part of a group of modern identity and access management (IAM) startups that aim to modernize the current state of affairs in this space, which is struggling to meet the demands of modern cloud infrastructure systems. This shift is creating new attack surfaces, especially as enterprises move to the cloud — and more dynamic infrastructure systems — at an ever-increasing rate. The number of security breaches stemming from issues with identity and access management is already on the rise. Indeed, Gartner expects that by 2023, “75% of security failures will result from inadequate management of identities, access, and privileges.”

Image Credits: Rezonate

Co-founder and CEO Roy Akerman was previously the head of the Israeli Cyberdefense Operations, while Rezonate co-founder and CTO Ori Amiga previously led R&D for this unit. Both received the Medal of Honor for their contributions to Israel’s National Security.

“The rapidly-changing cloudscape together with the proliferation of human and machine identities requires a different approach,” said Akerman. “Modern infrastructures require a precise and nimble way to outsmart attackers. One that prioritizes cloud identities and access at its core and is constantly adapting to current dynamics over yesterday’s snapshots and, for the first time, gives defenders and builders the means to act confidently.”

Image Credits: Rezonate

Rezonate promises to discover all of a company’s cloud and identity providers and the corresponding access privileges of its employees. The platform automatically detects security gaps and abnormal access attempts in real time. Rezonate promises that within minutes of deploying its solution, its platform can identify cloud identity and access risks and provide guidance for remediating them, or even automatically remove access and terminate sessions.

At the core of all of this is what Rezonate calls its ‘Identity Storyline,’ which aims to provide DevOps and security teams with a context-rich dashboard that helps them understand the security risk across a company’s cloud estate. With this, users get an easy-to-read dashboard that clearly lays out what kind of access every user has — and where there are potential issues.


“The fact that in just ten months from our first line of code we already have active customers, solving key gaps daily, affirms the criticality of the cloud identity and access issue. In a cloud world where everything is changing all of the time, DevOps teams need a solution as dynamic and automated as the infrastructure they need to protect is,” said Amiga.

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Exclusive: Building a Prospecting Motion: How to Outreach Like a Pro –




Building a Prospecting Motion: How to Outreach Like a Pro

#Building #Prospecting #Motion #Outreach #Pro

The core responsibility of business development is to generate a pipeline of new business opportunities. For teams looking to close new customers, this work is indispensable.


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Exclusive: 5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday –




5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday

#stock #market #opens #Tuesday

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), December 5, 2022.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:

1. Rough start

Stocks got off on the wrong foot this week with an ugly selloff Monday as investors weighed strong new economic data that stoked worries of sustained rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. The Dow dropped more than 480 points, while the S&P 500 declined 1.79% and the Nasdaq fell 1.93%. When it meets next week, the Fed’s policy-setting committee is expected to raise its benchmark rate by half a percentage point, which is less than the three-quarter-point hikes of the past few months but still sizable. Smith & Wesson and Stitch Fix earnings are set to hit after the bell Tuesday. Read live market updates here.

2. Salesforce slumps

Bret Taylor, co-chief executive officer of Inc., right, and Marc Benioff, co-chief executive officer of Inc., wear rabbit ears during a keynote at the 2022 Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Marlena Sloss | Bloomberg | Getty Images

3. Most Ford dealers sign up for EV plan

4. Biden touts Arizona chip investment

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks prior to signing railroad legislation into law, providing a resoluton to avert a nationwide rail shutdown, during a signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2022. 

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

5. Russia ratchets up missile attacks

A building burns after shelling in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on December 4, 2022, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Yevhen Titov | Afp | Getty Images

And one more thing …

Actress Kirstie Alley

Noam Galai | Wireimage | Getty Images

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