July 27 (Bloomberg) -- A judge rejected Travelport Ltd.’s bid to dismiss or transfer to an Illinois court an American Airlines lawsuit over the distribution of the carrier’s fare and flight data to travel agents.
U.S. District Judge Terry Means, in Fort Worth, Texas, yesterday rejected Travelport’s argument that an earlier agreement between it and AMR Corp.’s American Airlines requires that the case be heard in a federal or state court in Cook County, Illinois.
The case is part of a dispute brought on by Fort Worth- based American’s move to provide information directly to travel agents rather than going through a data provider such as Travelport, a closely held, Atlanta-based company. American accused Travelport of improperly dropping the carrier’s fare and flight data in response.
The judge also rejected American’s bid to speed the sharing of evidence in the case. He said that American’s request was based “largely on its speculation” of what will occur when American’s contracts with Travelport and Sabre Holdings Corp. expire this summer.
“Should the events of the upcoming months unfold as American anticipates, then American may renew its request for relief at that time,” the judge ruled.
In a July 18 filing, American said that it is “very close to reaching a temporary agreement” under which Travelport would agree not to exclude American from its system until Jan. 31.
Even if such an agreement were reached, the airline wrote, “the threat remains that Travelport still could exclude American upon the expiration of the temporary agreement.”
The case is American Airlines Inc. v. Travelport Ltd., 11- cv-00244, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth)
--With assistance from Mary Schlangenstein in Dallas. Editors: Andrew Dunn, Stephen Farr
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