THE WEAKEST BUCKLED FIRST. On May 9, financially strapped TWA said it was backing off the $50 cap on travel agent commissions imposed by the industry last February. Under an agreement with the American Society of Travel Agents, TWA will resume paying 10% commissions on all domestic tickets. In return, the carrier will be dropped as a defendant from the agents' antitrust class action. But other airlines, with pockets deeper than TWA's, likely won't follow suit.

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