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American Files Anti-Trust Lawsuit Against Orbitz

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American Airlines Files Lawsuit Against OrbitzAmerican Airlines has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Orbitz Worldwide, and its primary stakeholder, Travelport Ltd., in the latest twist in the ongoing drama between the airline and the online travel agency.

AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, claims that the online travel agency (OTA) is trying to control airline ticket distribution and is punishing American for fighting back.

American’s primary goal is to have OTAs and travel agents get flight and fare information directly from its own computer system, AA Direct Connect, rather than through centralized global distribution systems that charge a commission.

The airline also hopes to receive a court injunction, which will prevent the online travel agencies from favoring specific airlines in their electronic databases.

Orbitz said it will defend itself against the lawsuit. The OTA argues that American is trying to implement a different airline distribution model which will limit consumer choice and reduce competition.

Back in December, American Airlines removed its flights from Orbitz.com. In a show of solidarity, rival site Expedia removed American Airlines its site as well.  Expedia and American have since collaborated in a deal to return the airline’s listings but have not disclosed the details of the agreement.

By Nikki Erinakkis for PeterGreenberg.com.

Related Links: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, MarketWatch

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