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American Airlines, Sabre settle legal dispute

An American Airlines passenger jet glides in under the moon as it lands at LaGuardia airport in New YorkNew York, August 28, 2012. REUTERS/E
An American Airlines passenger jet glides in under the moon as it lands at LaGuardia airport in New YorkNew York, August 28, 2012. REUTERS/E

(Reuters) - American Airlines and ticket distributor Sabre Holdings said on Wednesday they have settled a dispute over alleged anti-competitive business practices.

American had claimed that global distribution systems that provide fare information to travel agents had conspired with each other to protect their mutual interests, organized boycotts to punish American for supporting alternatives and used other practices that squelched competition.

A jury trial in the matter had started in state court in Texas earlier this month.

American, a unit of AMR Corp that filed for Chapter 11 protection last November, will receive an undisclosed monetary payment from Sabre. The two companies renewed their distribution agreement, they said in a joint statement.

Sabre, which owns Travelocity, is one of several global distribution systems that act as pipelines to provide fare and flight information. It was once a unit of American.

The settlement requires approval by U.S. bankruptcy court.

As a result of the settlement, Sabre is no longer a defendant in American's continuing federal suit against Orbitz Worldwide and airfare data provider Travelport.

The federal case is American Airlines Inc. V. Travelport Ltd et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, No. 11-0244.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

(This story was refiled to show that the trial was in state court in Texas, not in federal court; and adds reference to federal case in the seventh paragraph)

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