(CN) – Travel agents who say the airline industry conspired to put them out of business by eliminating their base commissions lost a bid to have their case heard by the Supreme Court on Monday.
The 6th Circuit had ruled in October 2009 to dismiss a lawsuit from Tam Travel and 48 other travel agencies against various airlines, including American, Delta and United.
Travel agents received a percentage of each airline ticket sold. When an agency sold an airline ticket before 2002, it received a sales commission based on a percentage of the airline ticket price.
This practice, commonly referred to as the payment of “base commissions,” was industry-wide.
In their lawsuit, the travel agents claimed that the airlines conspired to reduce and eventually eliminate base commissions in a concerted effort to bankrupt the travel agencies.
An Ohio federal judge dismissed the 2003 complaint for failure to state any claims under the Sherman Antitrust Act.