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Sabre Seeks to Bring Antitrust Claim Against US Airways

Sabre Holdings Corp. asked a judge to let it bring an antitrust claim against US Airways Group Inc. in a lawsuit filed by the airline over information provided to travel agents.

US Airways sued Sabre, the flight data and reservation business, in 2011 claiming it monopolized the market for such information. In papers filed today in Manhattan federal court, Sabre denied US Airways’ allegations and asked to add a counterclaim based on new evidence it says it received during the litigation.

“US Airways and third parties produced documents that establish that, during the same time period as the events US Airways alleges in its amended complaint, US Airways has been in a long-running and wide-ranging conspiracy to collude with its airline competitors on the terms on which they will deal with Sabre,” the company said.

US Airways’ antitrust suit against Sabre followed a complaint filed by AMR Corp.’s American Airlines in Texas state court in 2010. Sabre and American settled that suit in October, during trial.

US Airways declined to comment on the Sabre filing, said Andrew Christie, a spokesman for the Tempe, Arizona-based carrier.

Multiyear Deal

The suit was filed after US Airways signed a multiyear distribution and marketing agreement with Sabre, which made its fares and schedules available to the travel agents who used Sabre’s system, according to Nancy St. Pierre, a spokeswoman for Southlake, Texas-based Sabre.

“It is very disappointing to learn that US Airways did not negotiate with us in good faith in 2011, and instead intended all along to sue us as soon as they signed the agreement,” St. Pierre said in a statement. “Given its strategy, it appears that US Airways never had any intention of living up to its agreement.”

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

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