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Published on Monday, May 24, 2021

Sabre fails to overturn CMA rejection of Farelogix acquisition


A tribunal upheld the UK Competition and Market Authority's (CMA) decision not to approve Sabre Corp's proposed acquisition of rival Farelogix.

The CMA blocked Sabre's proposed acquisition in April last year, leading to the collapse of the deal.

The CMA said it would result in less innovation in airline fare distribution, and fees for certain products might also be increased.

It concluded Sabre's customers including airlines, travel agents and UK passengers would be worse off than if Sabre and Farelogix remain competing businesses.

In its challenge to the CMA's decision at the Competition Appeal Tribunal it didn't dispute any of this but the CMA lacked jurisdiction to rule on it.

"We are pleased by this important judgment from the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Sabre did not challenge the substance of our finding - that the merger would lead to less competition and harm consumers - but instead sought to argue that we did not have jurisdiction over it," CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said.

"The Tribunal upholds our view that the share of supply test covers this type of transaction, and where less competition could have serious knock-on effects for UK consumers."

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