In the recently concluded jury trial US Airways Inc. v. Sabre Holdings Corp. et al, The Brattle Group assisted attorneys from O’Melveny & Myers to secure a favorable verdict on behalf of US Airways.
In 2011, US Airways sued Sabre in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York under the Sherman Antitrust Act regarding a contract between the two companies that included, among others, a “full content” provision. This provision required US Airways to give Sabre access to information on all of its flights and fares in order to reach the large network of travel agencies using Sabre’s ticket distribution system. However, it also prohibited US Airways from offering lower fares for those same flights in other distribution channels, such as on the airline’s own website. US Airways claimed that Sabre unreasonably restrained trade by imposing this and other provisions, which the airline alleged reinforced Sabre’s market power, stifled competition, and harmed both the airline and consumers.
The Brattle team, led by Michael Cragg and Andrew Abere, worked closely with expert witnesses including Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz, Brattle principal and Nobel Laureate Daniel L. McFadden, and Jerold L. Zimmerman, who testified at trial on liability, damages, and profitability on behalf of US Airways.
After nearly eight weeks of testimony and more than 20 hours of deliberation, the jury found that Sabre unfairly restrained trade by imposing unfavorable contract terms on the airline.
For more information on Brattle’s role, please click here.