All of the talk about antitrust matters did indeed devolve into a commercial settlement. It was mostly about the contracts.
The companies reached a new distribution agreement that will require the approval of the court presiding over AMR’s bankruptcy, according to a joint statement issued today. No specific terms of the settlement were given. The accord resolves all litigation between the companies, according to the statement.
American Airlines filed an antitrust suit in federal court in Dallas in April 2011, accusing Travelport, which is based in Atlanta and controlled by Blackstone Group LP, and other online reservation systems of conspiring to block the carrier from entering the electronic flight-data and reservations market.
The dispute was triggered by Fort Worth, Texas-based American’s move to provide flight reservation data and service directly to travel agents rather than going through data providers such as Travelport, Orbitz Worldwide Inc. and Sabre Holdings Corp.
In October, the airline resolved disputes with Sabre. In February, Orbitz told U.S. District Judge Terry Means in Dallas that it too had reached a binding settlement with the airline. The judge rejected that contention and agreed with the American that the two had only held inconclusive settlement discussions.
The case is American Airlines Inc. v. Travelport Ltd., 11- cv-00244, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth).
With assistance from Andrew Harris in Chicago and David McLaughlin in New York. Editors: Andrew Dunn, Stephen Farr
To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Korosec in Dallas at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at email@example.com.
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