Nearly two years after filing suit, American Airlines settled its federal antitrust claims against the nation’s second largest global distribution system (GDS), Travelport. This settlement came about five months after American reached a state court settlement with the nation’s largest GDS, Sabre. American’s lawsuit asserted that Travelport and Sabre engaged in a wrongful campaign to delay or destroy American’s newly-launched Direct Connect ticketing distribution system for corporate travelers, in violation of the antitrust laws. According to American, Travelport’s campaign included biasing American’s flights on Travelport’s system, convincing corporate travel agencies to boycott American, and doubling the fees it charges to American. As detailed in the parties’ press release, the settlement includes a long-term distribution contract that enables continued access for travel agents to book American’s flights through Travelport’s GDS and positions Travelport to become the first GDS to offer access to American’s other products and services. The settlement is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court in American’s restructuring.
Yetter Coleman was lead trial counsel for American, with a team that included Paul Yetter, Anna Rotman, George Fibbe, Marc Tabolsky, Chris Porter, and Wyatt Dowling.