July 11, 2011 Articles

Travel Agents Appeal Airline Price-Fixing Decision to Supreme Court

If the U.S. Supreme Court grants certiorari, it will revisit the precedent-setting pleading standard set in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly.

By Rebecca Thai

If the U.S. Supreme Court grants certiorari in In re Travel Agent Commission Antitrust Litigation, the Court will revisit the precedent-setting pleading standard set in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. Recently, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s decision to dismiss numerous travel agents’ claims that major airlines, such as Continental Airlines Inc., United Airlines, and American Airlines Inc., conspired to reduce, cap, and eventually eliminate the payment of base commissions in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1. The airlines filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under section 1 of the Sherman Act. Late last month, after the travel agents’ motion for rehearing was denied, the travel agents submitted a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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