A Vertical Challenge May Have Fared Better In Sabre Merger
On April 8, Judge Leonard Stark of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware denied an injunction requested by the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice to block Sabre Corp. in its $360 million acquisition of Farelogix Inc. The court concluded that the DOJ had failed to meet its burden of proving that the transaction would harm competition in a relevant product and geographic market.
On the surface, the court's opinion leaves the impression that the DOJ may have made some basic errors in presenting its case. A closer look, however, reveals the extent to which the DOJ struggled to present a viable case for a horizontal challenge despite strong objections to the merger from Farelogix customers in the U.S.