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AA Could Pull Tickets From Orbitz Soon

Ramp personnel load baggage into a departing American Airlines flight on August 15, 2001. (credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Ramp personnel load baggage into a departing American Airlines flight on August 15, 2001. (credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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FORT WORTH (AP) - American Airlines could pull its ticket listings from Orbitz on Dec. 1 in a dispute over how the online travel website gets information about flights and prices.

The news on Thursday caused shares of Orbitz Worldwide Inc. to plunge more than 17 percent.

Barney Harford, the CEO of Orbitz Worldwide Inc., said American was trying to force travel agencies to get information directly from the company instead of through middlemen called global distribution systems, or GDSs. He said American’s strategy would limit consumers’ ability to compare airline prices.

Orbitz is controlled by privately held Travelport Limited, which also owns the Worldspan and Galileo GDSs.

American spokeswoman Mary Sanderson disputed Orbitz’s statements but declined to give specifics, saying the two companies were still negotiating over the issue.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)