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In a statement, a Sabre spokesperson called the lawsuit "meritless because it is based on an outdated and flawed view of the industry and Sabre's and Farelogix's roles within it."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 zero."
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.
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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 footprint."
Sabre called the DOJ's lawsuit "fatally flawed," and referenced expert agreement in published stories in Travel Weekly and The Beat.
"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."
* This article originally appeared on Travel Weekly