BRUSSELS, July 19 (Reuters) - The European Union antitrust
regulator on Monday scrapped a two-and-half-year investigation
into travel booking companies Amadeus and Sabre
, citing a lack of conclusive evidence.
The two were targeted by the European Commission in November
2018 on concerns that their contract terms could prevent
airlines and travel agents from changing to rival ticket agents.
"The evidence collected is not sufficiently conclusive to
justify pursuing the investigation further," the EU competition
watchdog said in a statement.
It said it would continue to monitor the sector. The
Commission is currently reviewing rules that specify the
relationship between airlines, booking system providers and
The EU decision was welcomed by Amadeus.
"Amadeus has worked closely with the Commission in an open
and transparent manner since the launch of its investigation in
2018," a company spokesperson said.
Airlines usually sell the bulk of their tickets via travel
agents and other third parties but have a tense relationship
with global distribution service (GDS) providers such as Amadeus
and Sabre, which use software networks to sell products such as
airline tickets and hotel rooms to consumers.
These companies typically enjoy much higher profit margins
than the airlines whose tickets they help to distribute.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee
Editing by David Goodman)