Court Tells Orbitz to Restore Alamo and National Listings

On October 29, an Illinois court ruled against Orbitz in the court case Vanguard Car Rental USA Inc. v. Orbitz Worldwide Inc. The press release below is issued by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. A statement from Orbitz follows.

An Illinois court has granted Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental a preliminary injunction against Orbitz Worldwide. The ruling requires Orbitz to immediately restore Alamo’s offerings to the initial first-page rental car matrix on both the Orbitz and Cheap Tickets Web sites, and National’s offerings to the initial first-page rental car matrix of the Orbitz Web site.

This ruling is the latest development in a lawsuit brought by Alamo and National contending that Orbitz has willfully violated their online listing agreement. The suit asserts Orbitz has intentionally concealed Alamo’s and National’s offerings from consumers and, in the process, inflicted millions of dollars in damage on Alamo’s and National’s businesses.

In their suit, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Alamo and National stated that Orbitz sought a $1.5-million payment not required by their joint online listing agreement, which runs through Dec. 31, 2008. When Alamo and National refused to make the additional payment, Orbitz retaliated and deliberately violated their contract by removing both Alamo and National from the main rental car matrix, the suit contends.

In a strongly worded 20-page ruling, the court stated: “[Orbitz’s] conduct clearly does not live up to the spirit of the contract and [Orbitz] knew that….” The court also found that Orbitz’s actions likely caused irreparable harm to National and Alamo.

“We are pleased that the court has required Orbitz to honor the terms of its contract,” said Greg Stubblefield, President of Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental. “This ruling is a victory for consumers, who will now find it easier to rent our cars and, in the process, often save money.”

The following is Orbtiz’ reaction regarding the ruling.

"While Orbitz Worldwide respects the Court, we disagree with its decision and are disappointed with this preliminary injunction ruling. We strongly believe we acted in a way permitted by our contract rights to display search results that provide value to our customers. It remains Orbitz' position that Vanguard Car Rental is using a lawsuit to get results from Orbitz that Vanguard and Orbitz did not agree to in the parties' contract. Orbitz is evaluating its legal and commercial options. As always, we will remain focused on providing value to our customers who remain our top priority."

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