CBS 11 Header TXA 21 Header MeTV Header KRLD Header The Fan Header

Local

Government Examining Airline Ticket Distribution

View Comments
A traveler is seen at an American Airlines check-in counter. (credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

A traveler is seen at an American Airlines check-in counter. (credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

From Our CBS Music Web Sites

kluvs super 70s weekend voting 1979 dl Government Examining Airline Ticket DistributionPick The Best Song From 1979

115245513 8 Government Examining Airline Ticket DistributionCrush Of The Day: Mila Kunis

80219448 Government Examining Airline Ticket DistributionViral Video: Hilarious Southwest Safety Announcement

155742164 Government Examining Airline Ticket DistributionPick Your Favorite Victoria Secret Model

Featured Items

Fantasy_tileHottest Olympians

pet_tileYour Pet Photos

weather_tileSend Us Your Weather Photos

DALLAS (AP) - American Airlines said Friday that the government is investigating whether companies that distribute airline flight and fare information are violating federal antitrust laws.

One of the companies confirmed that it has been contacted but said officials have made no allegations against the distribution systems, which act as middlemen between airlines and travel agents.

American said it received a civil demand for information from the Justice Department. The airline declined to release the document but said it welcomed the investigation.

“American is not the subject of the investigation,” said spokesman Andrew Backover.

Sabre Holdings, one of the largest so-called global distribution systems, said it received a request for information.

“There are no allegations,” said Sabre spokeswoman Nancy St. Pierre. “We believe they have contacted others as well. We are cooperating fully.”

Another big distribution company, Travelport Ltd., did not immediately respond to messages for comment.

American is fighting with global distribution systems over the way information about flights and fares is shared with travel agents. American wants to deal more directly with travel agents and reduce the amount it pays to the distribution systems that charge fees when consumers search for and book flights.

Many consumers go directly to airline websites, but corporations often use travel agencies that rely on information from the distribution systems.

Last month American sued Travelport, accusing it of monopoly tactics and retaliating against the airline by burying information about its flights. Travelport’s systems handled $2.7 billion in American ticket sales last year.

Travelport and Orbitz Worldwide Inc., an online travel agent partly owned by Travelport, countered that American was trying to control ticket distribution to limit consumer choice and reduce competition. American pulled its flight listings from Orbitz in December as the dispute began to heat up.

American, a unit of AMR Corp., also sued Sabre, but the two are discussing a settlement. US Airways also sued Sabre.

American settled a similar dispute with another online travel agent, Expedia Inc., and information about American flights can again be found on Expedia.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

View Comments