A federal jury in New York today found global distribution system Sabre violated the Sherman Antitrust Act in a 2011 contract with US Airways, according to American Airlines, which merged with US Airways in 2013.
“We are very pleased with the jury’s decision and greatly appreciate the time and effort they expended during the course of this eight-week trial,”American Airlines said in a statement. We have long contended that the contractual provisions at issue – provisions that Sabre has made a condition to participate in its global distribution system – have reinforced Sabre’s market power, stymied competition, and harmed us and the travelers we serve.”
The airline added: “Now that the jury has agreed with us, we hope to see changes in the way our services are sold, and we expect technology and innovation will create even better and more transparent ways for us to distribute our products.”
The jury awarded $5.1 million, which by law will be trebled. The company will also be awarded its reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees.
The verdict was the result of a lawsuit filed by US Airways in 2011 and focused on the US Airways contract with Sabre that expired in 2011. American settled a separate lawsuit against Sabre in 2012.
American Airlines, partnering with IBM, founded Sabre in 1960.