< PrevNext > Makan Delrahim, U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division Merger Meddler By Jay Boehmer / December 13, 2019 / Contact Reporter Share If things had gone according to plan, Sabre would have closed its acquisition of Farelogix in the opening weeks of 2019, if not before. Those plans were wrecked by the U.S. Department of Justice.Sabre surprised the industry with its November 2018 announcement to buy Farelogix. Yes, that Farelogix, once a thorn in Sabre's side with a business model premised in part on bypassing global distribution systems and led by an executive who seemed to relish, for a period, GDS provocation. In hindsight, it shouldn't be too surprising that a merger like this would raise red flags. In 2011, it was revealed DOJ was probing Sabre's business practices, which reportedly included its treatment of Farelogix. Further, the past decade brought a couple of lawsuits by airlines against Sabre alleging antitrust misconduct. The European Commission last year opened its own probe into Sabre as well as its largest rival, Amadeus, for their respective behavior and contracts with customers there. DOJ's complaint to block the merger, filed in August in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, casts Sabre as an outdated tech operator that is wielding market power and defensively removing a growing competitor by buying it."Sabre's proposed acquisition of Farelogix is a dominant firm's attempt to take out a disruptive competitor that has been an important source of competition and innovation," said Delrahim in a statement announcing the suit. "If allowed to proceed, the acquisition would likely result in higher prices, reduced quality and less innovation for airlines and, ultimately, traveling American consumers."DOJ and Sabre are slated to duke it out in court in January 2020. Among potential outcomes, DOJ and Sabre could reach an out-of-court settlement, Sabre could prevail in court to complete its acquisition, or DOJ could prevail in court and block the transaction. Regardless of outcome, DOJ already has set the closing of the deal a year off course. Farelogix was vital to Sabre's plan to excel at merchandizing and distribution capabilities in the context of the New Distribution Capability. Thanks to Delrahim, those plans are on hold, at best.