The European Commission on Friday announced it has opened an investigation into Amadeus and Sabre to explore whether the agreements each has with airlines and travel agencies "restrict competition in breach of E.U. antitrust rules."
A consumer-led federal antitrust lawsuit filed in 2015 against the three major global distribution system operators has not achieved the class action status originally sought by plaintiffs, according to a court order this month.
Travelport has reached a settlement agreement in an antitrust lawsuit filed in 2015 against the three major global distribution system operators.
Amadeus has reached a settlement agreement with consumer plaintiffs in a federal antitrust lawsuit filed in 2015 against the three major global distribution system operators. If the court approves the settlement, as it did for fellow GDS operator Travelport, Sabre would be left as the lone GDS defendant in the case, which seeks class-action status.
Through a settlement agreement, Travelport has agreed to cooperate with plaintiffs of a consumer antitrust lawsuit that seeks to show at trial how remaining defendants, Amadeus and Sabre, conspired to impose full content restrictions on U.S. airlines and thereby inflate the cost of air travel.
"US Airways brought a behemoth antitrust case and came away with almost nothing," Sabre starkly proclaimed in a court filing this week. In the filing, Sabre put a positive spin on the case that yielded US Airways, now American Airlines, a favorable jury verdict on one antitrust claim.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Feb. 26 on a case involving anti-steering provisions American Express has included in contracts with merchants that accept its cards.
Conspiracy allegations have encircled the major global distribution system operators for years, but none have stuck.
How much does it cost an airline to pursue a nearly six-year-long antitrust lawsuit against Sabre? For US Airways, now American Airlines, the cost exceeded $122 million.
A U.S. District judge in California dismissed a federal antitrust lawsuit a group of travel agents against American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. A group of travel agents filed the suit in April, alleging that those airlines, "aided and abetted" by the Airline Tariff Publishing Co., conspired to change fare-combination rules to raise the price of combinable, multicity tickets.