A federal judge in Texas has dismissed all but one count of American Airlines’ (AA) antitrust case against Travelport. Travelport reports that in a sealed decision issued on November 21, 2011, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (the “Court”) dismissed AA’s claims that: (1) Travelport monopolizes distribution to travel agencies; (2) Travelport entered into a conspiracy with travel agencies to monopolize distribution; (3) Travelport’s agreements with airlines and travel agencies unlawfully restrain trade and (4) that Travelport’s actions are illegal under Texas state law.
Travelport said that the one claim the court allowed to proceed for further factual analysis was the claim that Travelport monopolizes access to Travelport’s current travel agency subscriber base. Monopolization claims based on such narrowly defined markets rarely succeed, and a similar claim brought against a competitor was recently rejected by a federal court in New York, Travelport said.
AA has until December 5, 2011 to amend its complaint, but is not allowed to reassert the claims that Travelport’s agreements with airlines and travel agencies unlawfully restrain trade or that Travelport’s actions violate Texas state law.
Travelport said it is pleased that the court recognized the "meritless" nature of most of the claims brought by AA and severely restricted the scope of AA’s remaining claim.
"Travelport will continue to defend itself vigorously against this limited claim which Travelport views as being wholly without merit. Travelport remains confident that, after analyzing the facts, the Court will find this claim as meritless as AA’s other claims."
Travelport does not believe the outcome of this dispute will have a material adverse effect on its results of operations or liquidity condition.