Two of the world's leading GDSs, Amadeus and Sabre are planning a joint venture.
They have applied to the European Commission for anti-trust approval for a joint scheme which will provide "secure, automated payment processing, clearing and reconciliation solutions to the global travel industry."
In a statement Sabre, the largest GDS in the US, and Amadeus, the largest one in Europe, said the aim was to establish "an industry standard solution" to meet better industry requirements on "payment deficiencies, increased automation and improved interoperability."
It said the joint venture would concentrate on non-air parts of the industry, including hotels, car and rail.
The two GDSs said: "The joint venture will integrate the existing financial instruments already used by the travel industry into a best-in-class multi-channel, multi-GDS platform, which will allow travel industry players to effectively manage all aspects of their payment needs in a flexible, easy-to-use solution."
Heathrow investment falls
Investment in London Heathrow Airport has fallen since its owners BAA were taken over by Gruppo Ferrovial last year.
The Spanish company paid Â£10.3bn for BAA and its seven UK airports, among them Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.
But figures released by Ferrovial show that its investment in Heathrow fell by 15% from Â£298m in the year before the purchase to Â£252m last year.
They also reveal that Ferrovial's revenue from the airport was Â£1.232bn, compared with Â£1.077bn for the year before.
Heathrow has come under recent strong criticism from both airlines and UK politicians for its "chaotic" state of long security queues and poor facilities.
The UK Competition Commission is also planning an inquiry into whether BAA's ownership of London's three major airports should be broken up.
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