Sabre challenges US Justice Department’s lawsuit to block its Farelogix acquisition

The DOJ In effect, Sabre's deal to buy Farelogix allows it to "to eliminate a disruptive competitor that has introduced new technology to the travel industry and is poised to grow significantly," the DoJ argues.

Sabre Corporation will challenge the lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking to block the company’s planned acquisition of Farelogix.

Farelogix, an innovator in the airline technology space whose New Distribution Capability (NDC) technology is used by a number of airlines around the world, will bring capabilities to Sabre that will accelerate the delivery of the industry’s first end-to-end NDC-enabled solution for the retailing, distribution and fulfilment of travel.

The DOJ argues that the Sabre’s deal to buy Farelogix allows it to eliminate a competitor that has brought new technology to the travel industry; a screenshot from the Farelogix website

Sabre is confident of the pro-competitive nature of this transaction, that it will succeed in court, and that the transaction will ultimately be completed.

Sean Menke, president and CEO of Sabre, said: “Over the past two years, Sabre has embarked upon a strategy with an entirely new executive management team focused on evolving the underlying technology of the travel ecosystem we support. To meet travellers’ changing expectations while increasing profitability, airlines need a technology partner that is ready to deliver tomorrow’s technological solutions today.”

He added: “Together, Sabre and Farelogix will drive faster innovation in the dynamic, highly competitive airline technology space, helping airlines accelerate their growth and profitability while better serving travellers. We look forward to closing this transaction and to delivering the benefits it will enable for our airline and agency customers, corporations, and travellers.”

Sabre said in a statement that the DOJ’s claims lack a basis in reality and reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the industry. “The DOJ claims that Sabre and Farelogix compete head to head for airline bookings in the US, but that claim misstates Farelogix’s role in the industry. Sabre and Farelogix offer complementary services, and this transaction is the continuation of an already successful collaboration between the two companies,” it said.

Sabre has committed to its airline customers and to the DOJ that for a period of time after the transaction, it will continue to offer Farelogix products at the same prices available today or lower, and to support and invest in those products at the same level or higher, added Sabre in its statement. In addition, Sabre has committed to offer to extend any existing Sabre GDS or Farelogix Open Connect contracts on the same terms, including price, for a period of at least three years.

“These commitments underscore that Sabre’s goal in acquiring Farelogix is to strengthen our ability to provide our airline and agency customers with the next-generation retailing, distribution, and fulfilment products and services they need,” said Menke.

Sabre and Farelogix have extended the termination date of their acquisition agreement to April 30, 2020, allowing time to resolve the challenge by the DOJ. Sabre will file its formal written response to the DOJ’s complaint in court at the appropriate time, said the company.

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