Statement from Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim on Sabre and Farelogix Decision to Abandon Merger
Sabre Corporation and Farelogix, Inc. announced today the termination of their merger agreement.
The Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit on Aug. 20, 2019, to block Sabre’s $360 million acquisition of its disruptive rival Farelogix to preserve the significant head-to-head competition between these two companies that has substantially benefitted airlines and consumers.
Following an eight-day bench trial before the Honorable Leonard P. Stark in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, the District Court on April 7 denied the department’s request to block the merger, ruling that it was bound by the Supreme Court’s decision in Ohio v. American Express Co., 138 S. Ct. 2274 (2018) (Amex), to hold that Sabre and Farelogix do not compete in a relevant market despite the District Court’s own factual findings that Sabre and Farelogix do compete. Just two days after the District Court issued its opinion, however, the United Kingdom’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) found the deal unlawful under U.K. competition law.
“The United Kingdom’s CMA decision to block Sabre’s acquisition of Farelogix confirms our view that the merger was anticompetitive,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “We were disappointed with the District Court’s application of Amex to this merger case. We already had filed a protective notice to appeal to preserve our appellate options and now are considering whether to move to vacate the District Court’s opinion in light of the Defendants’ decision to terminate their deal.”