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O’Melveny to Host, Wilson to Moderate, American Bar Association Discussion

February 8, 2011

O’Melveny will host the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Transportation and Energy Industries Committee’s “Toward Greater Transparency or Enhanced Market Power: Distribution Issues in the Airline Industry” discussion on February 8, 2011, in O’Melveny’s Washington, DC office. This brown-bag lunch will explore the antitrust and consumer protection implications of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposed rulemaking and related industry dynamics.

The DOT has solicited input on a proposal to require airlines to provide global distribution systems with information on their ancillary services and fees (such as checked baggage fees). The discussion will center on whether this initiative will promote transparency for the traveling public and avoid hidden fees (as the GDSs assert), or whether it will further entrench the market power of the GDSs and further increase airlines’ distribution costs (as the airlines assert).

These questions will be posed against the backdrop of disputes between American Airlines, on the one hand, and certain GDSs and online travel agencies, on the other, about the distribution of airline products.

Speakers:

  • James Davidson, President and CEO of Farelogix, a travel distribution solutions firm
  • Peter Kenney, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Delta Air Lines, one of the world’s largest airlines
  • Arthur Sackler, Executive Director, Interactive Travel Services Association, a trade association representing GDSs and online travel agents

Moderator:

  • Christine Wilson (DC), Partner, O’Melveny & Myers