Texas judge rules American can seek court order against Sabre

A Texas judge on Thursday ruled that AMR Corp.’s American Airlines can move ahead in seeking a court order barring Sabre Holdings Corp. from listing the carrier’s fare and flight data below that of rivals in displays for travel agents.

The Tarrant County District Court judge ruled that Southlake-based Sabre can’t stop American from requesting a temporary restraining order. He rejected Sabre’s argument that federal law preempts Texas state court authority in American’s request for an injunction.

The state court case is part of a larger dispute spurred by Fort Worth-based American’s efforts to change how it sells airline tickets rather than going through a network like Sabre, which compiles the information from airlines and distributes it to travel agents. Sabre is the largest U.S.-based so-called global distribution system.

American’s attempt to route travel agents around Sabre by using its Direct Connect model prompted Sabre to end American’s booking discounts and change how American’s tickets were displayed on its systems so they were harder to book. In response, American sued Sabre, alleging breach of contract.

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