The lawyers for American Airlines and Travelport had very busy Fridays as both companies took legal action against the other over American's notice that it will pull out of Orbitz and the consequent ramifications to the full-content GDS agreement between American and Travelport.
At 2:15 Central Time on Friday, American filed a petition for declaratory judgement against Travelport in U.S. District Court in Tarrant County, Texas.
American wants the court to declare that American's intent to pull out of Orbitz Dec. 1 is not a breach of the July 2006 full-content agreement (officially the Preferred Fares Amendment) between American and Galileo (now Travelport), and their subscriber agreement.
The airline also wants the court to clarify the parties' rights and obligations under the full content agreement, and wants Travelport to pay for American's attorneys' fees.
Also on Friday, Travelport sued American in a Chicago court, alleging that American's notice that it will pull flights out of Orbitz violates American's contractual obligations to provide full content to Travelport affiliates, including Orbitz, on par with the inventory that American provides to competitors.
In addition, Travelport alleges that American pays Travelport a dramatically reduced GDS fee based on the full-content provision and that withdrawing content violates their agreements.
Travelport and American have been discussing a renewal of their full-content agreement for two years, exchanged communications about American's notifications to Orbitz, and appeared to have anticipated each other's suits as both legal actions were filed Nov. 5 in different venues.
Apart from American's alleged violations of its agreements, Travelport maintains that it lost $50 million on Nov. 4 -- the day that Orbitz publicized American's looming pullout -- because the Orbitz stock price fell 18% and Travelport owns 48% of Orbitz.
In addition to the legal action, Travelport says it has also taken commercial actions against the airline, but both American and Travelport declined to details what those actions are.