The Federal Trade Commission today announced it approved the $2.3 billion merger of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., but will require the divestiture of Hertz's Advantage Rent A Car plus the rights to operate 29 Dollar-Thrifty airport locations.
The pending merger, which was widely followed by the antitrust bar amidst reports that the FTC was gearing up to fight the deal in court, was announced in August. The FTC alleged that the deal as originally proposed would have harmed competition at 72 airports around the United States and reduced the number of major competitors from four to three.
“Today’s bipartisan action by the FTC will ensure that consumers are not forced to pay higher prices for rental cars when they travel,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in a news release.
According to the FTC, the settlement will enable Advantage to become the fourth-largest car rental company in the United States, and allow it to compete for business in airports throughout the country.
The commissioners voted 4 to 1 to approve the settlement, with J. Thomas Rosch opposed. “I voted against acceptance of the consent decree because I found it inadequate to resolve the competitive concerns at several dozen other airports affected by the transaction,” Rosch said in the news release. “I would have instead voted to challenge the transaction because of the significant risk of post-merger coordinated interaction among the remaining competitors.”