Cleary Gottlieb Secures Complete Dismissal of Antitrust and Consumer Class Action Claims Against Travelocity and Sabre

December 1, 2014

Cleary Gottlieb secured dismissal with prejudice of an antitrust class action involving online pricing of hotel rooms brought against clients Travelocity and its parent Sabre Holdings, along with other online travel agencies and several hotel chains. On October 28, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed all claims in the case with prejudice, having given the plaintiffs the opportunity to attempt to replead their claims, which the court originally dismissed without prejudice in February. The plaintiffs have chosen not to appeal, the deadline for which was December 1.

The plaintiffs asserted a conspiracy amongst hotels and online travel agencies to impose “rate parity” across hotel booking websites so that the price of a room is the same on a hotel chain’s website as it is on any of the other websites where it may also be sold. Noting that the defendants had motivations to pursue rate parity independent of a conspiracy, the Court found that the plaintiffs had not plausibly alleged a conspiracy in violation of the antitrust laws. The court concluded that plaintiffs attempts to re-plead were futile.

At an earlier stage of the case, Cleary Gottlieb won an important victory for Travelocity upholding the Travelocity user agreement and enforcing the agreement’s requirements that any claims related to purchases on the Travelocity website be brought in arbitration by individual consumers.