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U.S. Department of Justice Seal and Letterhead
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2001  
(202) 514-2007
TDD: (202) 514-1888


Competition Will Remain in the Flight Support Services Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Justice today announced that it will require Signature Flight Support Corporation to divest a flight support services business—including fueling and ramp/hangar rentals--at Orlando International Airport in order for Signature to proceed with its acquisition of Ranger Aerospace Corporation. The Department said that the acquisition, as originally proposed, would have resulted in higher prices for aviation services at that airport.

Aircraft Service International Group Inc. (ASIG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Ranger, conducts fixed base operations at Orlando International Airport. Signature and ASIG are the only fixed base operators at the airport, competing head-to-head to provide flight support services.

The Department's Antitrust Division filed a lawsuit today in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to block the proposed transaction. At the same time, the Department filed a proposed consent decree that, if approved by the court, would resolve the lawsuit and the Department's competitive concerns.

"This divestiture is necessary to prevent anticompetitive harm to operators of charter, private, and corporate aircraft at Orlando International Airport," said John M. Nannes, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division.

According to the complaint, the merger would have resulted in a monopoly in the market for fixed base flight support operations at Orlando International Airport. The loss of competition likely would have resulted in higher prices and decreased quality of service to charter, private and corporate aircraft operators who use fixed base operations.

Signature, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, owns the nation's largest network of fixed base operations, which consists of more than 40 locations nationwide. Signature's 1999 revenues were approximately $400 million.

Ranger is a Delaware holding company with its principal place of business in Greenville, South Carolina. ASIG, also a Delaware corporation, is headquartered in Dania, Florida. In addition to its fixed base operations in Orlando and at one other airport in the United States and at one airport in the Bahamas, it provides fueling for commercial airlines and related services in airports throughout the United States. For the fiscal year ending in March 2000, its revenues were $141 million.

As required by the Tunney Act, the proposed settlement agreement will be published in the Federal Register, along with the Department's competitive impact statement. Any person may submit comments concerning the proposed settlement agreement during the 60-day comment period to Roger W. Fones, Chief, Transportation, Energy and Agriculture Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 325 Seventh Street, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20530. At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the court may enter the consent decree upon finding that it serves the public interest.