American Airlines, Sabre settle lawsuit

Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines has settled lawsuits against Sabre in a fight over who would control distribution of information about flights and fares.

The settlement was announced Wednesday after a jury trial in the case began in a Texas state court.

American said that it will get an undisclosed amount of cash from Sabre, which will continue to distribute the airline's tickets for several years. Sabre operates a ticket-reservations system used by travel agents.

American said it would continue to work on distributing flight and fare information directly to travel agents, which was part of the dispute between the two companies.

American had accused Sabre Holdings Inc. — American's reservations arm until it was spun off a decade ago — of trying to harm the airline by raising fees for the airline and burying American's flights when travel agents searched Sabre.

American argued that Sabre was retaliating for the airline's decision to operate its own distribution system to connect directly to travel agents. Airlines pay fees to Sabre and similar distribution systems, and American could save money if travel agents bypassed Sabre.

Sabre filed a counter lawsuit, accusing American of violating antitrust laws.

The settlement requires approval by a federal bankruptcy court in New York, where American and parent AMR filed for Chapter 11 protection last November.

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