USTAR Chief Bashes ARC Moves

Bishins files complaint about changes in Area Settlement Plan to DOJ, Trade Commission

USTAR President Bruce Bishins has filed an extensive complaint against the Airlines Reporting Corporation for “material and inappropriate changes to operations of the Area Settlement Plan.”

The complaint was filed with Acting U.S. Assistant Attorney General R. Hewitt Pate in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and Director Joseph J. Simons of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition. The complaint alleges that ARC has materially altered the representations it made to the Antitrust Division since the time it sought the DOJ’s approval of the incorporation of ARC in 1984, according to Bishins.

He said USTAR asserted that it has provided the DOJ with sufficient detail to warrant an investigation and analysis of ARC’s plan to alter its operations to impose daily reporting on travel agencies.

Bishins said USTAR requested that the DOJ “enjoin ARC from such activity until such time that the DOJ renders a decision in USTAR’s complaint.”

The complaint also asserted that it has provided the DOJ with sufficient detail to raise concerns that ARC’s move to daily reporting will lead to daily remittance, as well as to review the belief that the airlines will jointly shift credit card fees away from themselves and onto their agents.

USTAR also asked the DOJ to “seek factual evidence from ARC that would detail the level of alleged abuse of the voiding process.”