Air­line, Bran­son clash over li­cens­ing fees.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

Alaska Air­lines could be headed to­ward a show­down with Richard Bran­son over mil­lions of dol­lars in li­cens­ing fees.

Alaska took con­trol of Vir­gin Amer­ica last year. Bran­son, the Bri­tish bil­lion­aire who helped cre­ate Vir­gin Amer­ica, told re­porters in Seat­tle this week that Alaska must pay roy­al­ties for the Vir­gin name un­der a li­cens­ing deal that runs un­til 2040.

But Alaska Air­lines has a dif­fer­ent opin­ion be­cause it plans to drop the Vir­gin brand, prob­a­bly in 2019.

Vir­gin Air­lines paid $ 7.7 mil­lion in li­cens­ing fees to a Bran­son- con­trolled com­pany in its last full year be­fore the Alaska takeover. But that was be­fore a 40 per­cent rate hike that likely pushed the fee to more than $ 10 mil­lion.

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