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Sabre Wins Dismissal of Antitrust Claims in US Airways Suit

Sabre Holdings Corp., which was sued by US Airways Group Inc. over its system for distributing data to travel agents, won dismissal of two of the antitrust claims against it.

In a one-page, handwritten ruling filed yesterday, U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum in Manhattan threw out US Airways’ claims that Sabre conspired and monopolized what it called the “Sabre travel agent market.”

Cedarbaum ordered US Airways to file an amended complaint to provide the sources of information and bases for its allegations in the two remaining counts.

US Airways’ antitrust suit against Sabre, the largest so-called global distribution system based in the U.S., followed a complaint filed by AMR Corp.’s American Airlines in Texas state court in January as the carriers seek more control over dissemination and sale of their products.

In the remaining claims, US Airways said Sabre restrained competition through a series of agreements with airlines and travel agents and that it conspired with other operators of global distribution systems, which provide travel agents with fare and schedule information, to keep out competitors.

US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher declined to comment on the ruling except to say the case is going forward. In papers it filed in August seeking dismissal of the complaint, Sabre, based in Southlake, Texas, said the suit is “US Airways’ attempt to renegotiate the three-year contract” with the airline.

The case is U.S. Airways Inc. v. Sabre Holdings Corp., 11-cv-02725, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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