Jury sides with US Airways against Sabre in GDS antitrust trial
The jury has returned its verdict in US Airways’s USD 134 million antitrust lawsuit against travel technology giant Sabre. According to American Airlines, Sabre never offered a deal for less than full-content during contract negotiations.
The jury has returned its verdict in US Airways’s USD 134 million antitrust lawsuit against travel technology giant Sabre.
The airline, obelow owned by American Airlines Group, persuaded a jury in a US federal court that Sabre’s 2011 contract provisions violated US antitrust law. Sabre must pay the company USD 5 million in damages, which will be trebled, plus attorneys’ fees.
The airline’s lawyers successfully argued that Sabre had threatened it, saying that it had to accept a contract on Sabre’s terms or else be cut off from a network of thousands of travel agents worldwide who depend on the inventory that the tech giant provides via desktop software.
During contract negotiations, Sabre never offered a deal for less than full-content, the airline said. Full-content contracts typically require an airline to provide the same fares it offers via any other channel, such as its own website, to Sabre, too.
The jury found that Sabre’s action violated antitrust law. It only awarded a sliver of the damages the airline had hoped for. But the ramifications of the decision could affect hundreds of millions of dollars of future contract decisions worldwide.
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