Sabre has formally answered the Department of Justice's
lawsuit attempting to block its acquisition of Farelogix, denying the department's
allegations that Sabre is a dominant firm attempting to eliminate Farelogix
through the transaction.
In a statement, a Sabre spokesperson called the lawsuit "meritless
because it is based on an outdated and flawed view of the industry and Sabre's
and Farelogix's roles within it."
Sabre's formal answer was filed Tuesday in U.S. District
Court in Delaware. In the filing, Sabre argues that the transaction is not, as
the DOJ argued, "a dominant firm's attempt to eliminate a disruptive
competitor after years of trying to stamp it out."
Sabre said it is not dominant, pointing to Amadeus as the "leading
global GDS" and other competitors like Travelport. Sabre also argued that
Farelogix "is not disruptive today and will not become so in the future."
The Farelogix product referenced by the DOJ, Open Connect, only had $7 million
in revenue last year, Sabre argued, and its market share is "close to
Additionally, Sabre said that while Farelogix was an early
player in the development of New Distribution Capability (NDC) technology, the
standard is open for all to use, and other companies are developing NDC
technology. That means Farelogix is not unique, Sabre said.
Sabre also argued against the DOJ's assertion that its
acquisition of Farelogix is an attempt to eliminate the competition. Rather,
the acquisition is intended to create an NDC-based platform for retail,
distribution and fulfillment, Sabre said.
"Sabre's closest competitor, Amadeus, has already built
such a solution and has announced partnerships with a number of airlines,"
Sabre's filing states. "This transaction will enable Sabre to better
compete with Amadeus, the largest GDS in the world, by combining Farelogix's
NDC and retailing capabilities with Sabre's travel agent network and global
Sabre called the DOJ's lawsuit "fatally flawed,"
and referenced expert agreement in published stories in Travel Weekly and The
"Contrary to the DOJ's assertions, Sabre is not the
dominant player in the industry and faces significant competition both from
other third-party providers and from airlines themselves," the Sabre
spokesperson said. "Farelogix is a minor player that lacks the ability to
effectively compete in a rapidly changing and growing industry.
"Industry experts agree that this transaction would not
only accelerate innovation, but also increase competition and lower prices. As
a result, we remain confident in the legal and pro-competitive merits of this
transaction and will defend vigorously against the DOJ's lawsuit."