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American Airlines Wins Ruling In Sabre Antitrust Case

 |  March 27, 2022

American Airlines won a ruling in Manhattan federal court that clears a path for a new trial next month on its claims that flight-booking service Sabre Corp abused its market power and caused the airline $300 million in overcharges and lost profit.

US District Judge Lorna Schofield on rejected Sabre’s bid to throw out a lawsuit that first began in 2011 by then-US Airways, which merged three years later with American Airlines.

Southlake, Texas-based Sabre is the country’s largest owner and operator of an electronic network through which travel agents search and book flights that are listed by the airlines. Most corporate air travel is booked through the industry’s global distribution systems. Sabre  is used by variouscompanies to search, price, book, and purchase travel services, accomodations, and tours.

American Airlines has accused Sabre of setting restrictive contract terms and excessive fees, which the company has denied. The airline said in court filings that more than $3.5 billion of US Airways’ revenue, or 35%, was booked through Sabre from 2010 to 2012.

A representative for Sabre declined to comment on Friday. A spokesperson for American Airlines said the company was “pleased” with the court’s ruling.

American Airlines in December 2016 won about $15.3 million at an earlier trial in the case that centered on the airline’s claim of restrictive contract terms. Damages were limited to alleged overcharges paid by the carrier.

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