American Airlines files antitrust suit against Travelport and Orbitz

In another action in the ongoing war over ticket and fares distribution, American Airlines has moved to file a civil antitrust lawsuit against Travelport and Orbitz Worldwide. The lawsuit is aimed at stopping what American has labelled "exclusionary and anti-competitive" business practices of the defendants and recover monetary damages that American has incurred as a result of these actions.

The lawsuit states that Travelport, which controls the distribution of fares and other content to a large number of travel agencies and their corporate customers, has engaged in anti-competitive conduct to protect its market position from new competition by alternative technologies.

Orbitz responded, stating American Airlines claims are baseless and the latest in a series of tactics to force Orbitz to adopt a carrier ticket distribution model that limits consumer choice and inhibits competition. Travelport intends to "vigorously" defend the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines and Amadeus signed a three-year full content agreement that guarantees all travel agents worldwide, outside Turkey, access to the full range of the carriers’ fares, inventory and schedules. The new agreement offers Amadeus’ subscribers outside of Turkey the same level of fares, availability and functionality as the airline distributes through its own website.

Selected aviation suppliers share price movements (% change): 13-Apr-2011