Document


 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
ý    ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017
or
¨    TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
Sabre Corporation
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
 
 
 
 
Delaware
001-36422
20-8647322
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation or organization)
(Commission File Number)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
 
 
3150 Sabre Drive
Southlake, TX 76092
 
 
 
(Address, including zip code, of principal executive offices)
 
 
 
(682) 605-1000
 
 
 
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Common Stock, $0.01 par value
 
 
 
The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC
(Title of class)
 
 
 
(Name of exchange on which registered)
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
 
 
 
None
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ý   No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes ¨   No  ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes ý   No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes ý    No ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” "smaller reporting company,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
ý
 
Accelerated filer
¨
Non-accelerated filer
¨
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Smaller reporting company
¨
 
 
 
Emerging growth company
¨

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ¨   No  ý
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates, as of June 30, 2017, was $4,542,299,419. As of February 12, 2018, there were 274,446,142 shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement relating to its 2018 annual meeting of stockholders to be held on May 23, 2018, are incorporated by reference in Part III.
 




Table of Contents
 
 
 
Page
 
 
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
 
 
 
 
 
Item 15.
Item 16.




FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including the section “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7, contains information that may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts, such as statements regarding our future financial condition or results of operations, our prospects and strategies for future growth, the development and introduction of new products, and the implementation of our marketing and branding strategies. In many cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “expects,” "outlook," “believes,” “may,” "intends," "provisional," "plans," “will,” “predicts,” “potential,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” "should,” “plans” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. The forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding our business, the economy and other future conditions and are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances that may cause events or our actual activities or results to differ significantly from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future events, results, actions, levels of activity, performance or achievements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Unless required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events after the date they are made.  A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, those factors described in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” in Part I, Item 7 “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Factors Affecting Our Results” and elsewhere in this Annual Report.
In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, references to “Sabre,” the “Company,” “we,” “our,” “ours” and “us” refer to Sabre Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise stated or the context otherwise requires.
PART I
ITEM 1.
BUSINESS
Overview
Sabre Corporation is a Delaware corporation formed in December 2006. On March 30, 2007, Sabre Corporation acquired Sabre Holdings Corporation (“Sabre Holdings”), which is the sole subsidiary of Sabre Corporation. Sabre GLBL Inc. (“Sabre GLBL”) is the principal operating subsidiary and sole direct subsidiary of Sabre Holdings. Sabre GLBL or its direct or indirect subsidiaries conduct all of our businesses. Our principal executive offices are located at 3150 Sabre Drive, Southlake, Texas 76092.
We are a leading technology solutions provider to the global travel and tourism industry. We span the breadth of the global travel ecosystem, providing key software and services to a broad range of travel suppliers and travel buyers. We connect the world’s leading travel suppliers, including airlines, hotels, car rental brands, rail carriers, cruise lines and tour operators, with travel buyers in a comprehensive travel marketplace. We also offer travel suppliers an extensive suite of leading software solutions, ranging from airline and hotel reservations systems to high-value marketing and operations solutions, such as planning airline crew schedules, re-accommodating passengers during irregular flight operations and managing day-to-day hotel operations. These solutions allow our customers to market, distribute and sell their products more efficiently, manage their core operations, and deliver enhanced travel experiences.
Business Segments
We operate through two business segments: Travel Network and Airline and Hospitality Solutions. Financial information about our business segments and geographic areas is provided in Note 16. Segment Information, to our consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8 in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Effective the first quarter of 2018, we plan to disaggregate the Airline and Hospitality Solutions reportable segment, such that our business will have three reportable segments comprised of: (i) Travel Network, (ii) Airline Solutions and (iii) Hospitality Solutions. See Note 18. Subsequent Event, to our consolidated financial statements for additional information.
Travel Network
Travel Network is our global business-to-business travel marketplace and consists primarily of our global distribution system (“GDS”) and a broad set of solutions that integrate with our GDS to add value for travel suppliers and travel buyers. Our GDS facilitates travel by efficiently bringing together travel content such as inventory, prices and availability from a broad array of travel suppliers, including airlines, hotels, car rental brands, rail carriers, cruise lines and tour operators, with a large network of travel buyers, including online travel agencies (“OTAs”), offline travel agencies, travel management companies (“TMCs”) and corporate travel departments.

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During 2015, we expanded Travel Network's presence in the Asia Pacific (“APAC”) region through the acquisition of the remaining 65% interest in Abacus International Pte Ltd, which is now named Sabre Asia Pacific Pte Ltd ("SAPPL"). SAPPL is a Singapore-based business-to-business travel e-commerce provider that serves APAC. Prior to the acquisition, SAPPL was 65% owned by a consortium of 11 airlines and the remaining 35% was owned by us.
Airline and Hospitality Solutions
Our Airline and Hospitality Solutions business offers a broad portfolio of software technology products and solutions, through software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) and hosted delivery model, to airlines, hoteliers and other travel suppliers. Airline and Hospitality Solutions aggregates our Airline Solutions and Hospitality Solutions operating segments.
Airline Solutions—Our Airline Solutions business provides industry-leading and comprehensive software solutions that help our airline customers better market, sell, serve and operate. We offer airline software solutions in three functional suites: our reservation system, SabreSonic Customer Sales & Service (“SabreSonic”); our commercial solutions, Sabre AirVision Marketing & Planning; and Sabre AirCentre Enterprise Operations. SabreSonic provides comprehensive capabilities around managing sales and customer service across an airline’s diverse touch points. Sabre AirVision Marketing & Planning is a set of strategic airline commercial planning solutions that focuses on helping our customers improve profitability and develop their brand. Sabre AirCentre Enterprise Operations is a set of strategic solutions that drive operational effectiveness through holistic planning and management of airline, airport and customer operations.
Hospitality Solutions—Our Hospitality Solutions business provides software and solutions to hoteliers around the world. Our offerings include distribution through our SynXis central reservation system (“CRS”), property management through SynXis Property Manager Solution (“PMS”), marketing services and professional services that optimize distribution and marketing.
In January 2016, we completed the acquisition of the Trust Group of Companies (“Trust Group”), a central reservation, revenue management and hotel marketing provider with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) and in APAC. Inclusive of this acquisition, we provide our software and solutions to over 38,000 hotel properties around the world.
Strategy
We connect people and places with technology that reimagines the business of travel. The key elements of our strategy include:
Commitment to develop innovative technology products through investment of significant resources in solutions that address key customer needs which include retailing solutions, mobile capabilities, data analytics and business intelligence and workflow optimization.
Geographic expansion beyond our traditional strengths by seeking to deepen our presence in high-growth geographies in APAC, Europe, including high-growth Eastern European markets, and Latin America.
Pursuit of new customers and marketplace content through seeking to actively add new travel supplier content to Travel Network and continuing to pursue new customers for our Airline and Hospitality Solutions business.
Strengthen relationships with existing customers, including promoting the adoption of our products within and across our existing customers.
Customers
Travel Network customers consist of travel suppliers, including airlines, hotels, car rental brands, rail carriers, cruise lines, tour operators, attractions and services; a large network of travel buyers, including OTAs, offline travel agencies, TMCs and corporate travel departments; and travelers and other sellers of travel and consumers of travel information. Airline Solutions serves airlines of all sizes and in every region of the world, including hybrid carriers and low-cost carriers (collectively, “LCC/hybrids”), global network carriers and regional network carriers; and other customers such as airports, corporate aviation fleets, governments and tourism boards. Hospitality Solutions has a global customer base of over 38,000 hotel properties of all sizes.
No individual customer accounted for more than 10% of our consolidated revenues for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015.

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Sources of Revenue
Transactions—Bookings that generate fees directly to Travel Network (“Direct Billable Booking”) include bookings made through our GDS (e.g., air, car and hotel bookings) and through our joint venture partners in cases where we are paid directly by the travel supplier. A transaction occurs when a travel agency or corporate travel department books or reserves a travel supplier’s product on our GDS, for which we receive a fee. Transaction fees include, but are not limited to transaction fees paid by travel suppliers for selling their inventory through our GDS and fees paid by travel agency subscribers related to their use of certain solutions integrated with our GDS. We receive revenue from the travel supplier and the travel agency according to the commercial arrangement with each.
SaaS and Hosted—Airline and Hospitality Solutions generates revenue through upfront solution fees and recurring usage-based fees for the use of our software solutions hosted on secure platforms or deployed via SaaS. We maintain our SaaS and hosted software and manage the related infrastructure. We collect the implementation fees and recurring usage-based fees pursuant to contracts with terms that typically range between three and ten years and generally include minimum annual volume requirements.
Professional Service Fees—Airline and Hospitality Solutions offerings that utilize the SaaS and hosted revenue model are sometimes sold as part of multiple-element agreements for which we also provide professional services, including consulting services. Our professional services are primarily focused on helping customers achieve better utilization of and return on their software investment. Often, we provide these services during the implementation phase of our SaaS solutions.
Software Licensing—Airline and Hospitality Solutions generates revenue from fees for the installation and use of our software products. Some contracts under this model generate additional revenue for the maintenance of the software product.
Media—Advertising revenue is generated by Travel Network from customers that advertise products on our GDS. Advertisers use two types of advertising metrics: (i) display advertising and (ii) action advertising. In display advertising, advertisers generally pay based on the number of customers who view the advertisement, and are charged based on cost-per-thousand impressions. In action advertising, advertisers generally pay based on the number of customers who perform a specific action, such as click on the advertisement, and are charged based on the cost per action.
Competition
We operate in highly competitive markets. Travel Network competes with several other regional and global travel marketplace providers, including other GDSs, local distribution systems and travel marketplace providers primarily owned by airlines or government entities and direct distribution by travel suppliers. In addition to other GDSs and direct distributors, there are a number of other competitors in the travel distribution marketplace, including new entrants in the travel space that offer metasearch capabilities that direct shoppers to supplier websites and/or OTAs, third party aggregators and peer-to-peer options for travel services. Airline Solutions operates in an industry that is very competitive, which includes other providers of reservations systems and software applications solutions and airlines that develop their own software applications and reservations systems in-house. Primary competitors of Hospitality Solutions are in the hospitality CRS and PMS fields and hotels that develop their own software applications and CRSs in house, including global hotel chains.
Technology and Operations
Our technology strategy is based on achieving company-wide stability, reliability and performance at the most efficient price point. Significant investment has gone into building a centralized middleware environment with an emphasis on simplicity, security and scalability. We invest heavily in software development, delivery and operational support capabilities and strive to provide best in class products for our customers. We operate standardized infrastructure in our data center environments across hardware, operating systems, databases, and other key enabling technologies to minimize costs on non-differentiators. We expect to continue to make significant investments in our information technology infrastructure to modernize our architecture, drive efficiency in development and ongoing technology costs, further enhance the stability and security of our network, comply with data privacy regulations, and accelerate our shift to open source and cloud-based solutions.
Our architecture has evolved from a mainframe centric transaction processing environment to a secure processing platform that is one of the world’s most heavily used and resilient service oriented architecture (“SOA”) environments. A variety of products and services run on this technology infrastructure: high volume air shopping systems; desktop access applications providing continuous, real-time data access to travel agents; airline operations and decision support systems; an array of customized applications available through the Sabre Red App Centre; and web based services that provide an automated interface between us and our travel suppliers and customers. The flexibility and scale of our standardized SOA based technology infrastructure allow us to quickly deliver a broad variety of SaaS and hosted solutions.

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Intellectual Property
We use software, business processes and proprietary information to carry out our business. These assets and related intellectual property rights are significant assets of our business. We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trade secret and trademark laws, confidentiality procedures, and contractual provisions to protect these assets and we license software and other intellectual property both to and from third parties. We may seek patent protection on technology, software and business processes relating to our business, and our software and related documentation may also be protected under trade secret and copyright laws where applicable. We may also benefit from both statutory and common law protection of our trademarks.
Although we rely heavily on our brands, associated trademarks, and domain names, we do not believe that our business is dependent on any single item of intellectual property, or that any single item of intellectual property is material to the operation of our business. However, since we consider trademarks to be a valuable asset of our business, we maintain our trademark portfolio throughout the world by filing trademark applications with the relevant trademark offices, renewing appropriate registrations and regularly monitoring potential infringement of our trademarks in certain key markets.
Government Regulation
We are subject to or affected by international, federal, state and local laws, regulations and policies, which are constantly subject to change. These laws, regulations and policies include regulations applicable to the GDS in the European Union (“EU”), Canada, the United States and other locations.
We are subject to the application of data protection and privacy regulations in many of the countries in which we operate, including the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") in the EU, which will apply beginning in May 2018. See "Risk Factors —Our collection, processing, storage, use and transmission of personal data could give rise to liabilities as a result of governmental regulation, conflicting legal requirements, differing views on data privacy or security breaches."  
We are also subject to prohibitions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (the “OFAC rules”), which prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in financial transactions with or relating to the prohibited individual, entity or country, require the blocking of assets in which the individual, entity or country has an interest, and prohibit transfers of property subject to U.S. jurisdiction (including property in the possession or control of U.S. persons) to such individual, entity or country.
Our businesses may also be subject to regulations affecting issues such as: trade sanctions, exports of technology, telecommunications and e-commerce. These regulations may vary among jurisdictions.
See “Risk Factors—Any failure to comply with regulations or any changes in such regulations governing our businesses could adversely affect us.
Seasonality
The travel industry is seasonal in nature. Travel bookings for Travel Network, and the revenue we derive from those bookings, are typically seasonally strong in the first and third quarters, but decline significantly each year in the fourth quarter, primarily in December. We recognize air-related revenue at the date of booking, and because customers generally book their November and December holiday leisure-related travel earlier in the year and business-related travel declines during the holiday season, revenue resulting from bookings is typically lower in the fourth quarter.
Employees
As of December 31, 2017, we employed approximately 9,000 people. We have not experienced any work stoppages and consider our relations with our employees to be good.
Available Information
We are subject to the informational requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and under these requirements, we file reports, proxy and information statements and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and other information to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are available through the investor relations section of our website at investors.sabre.com. Reports are available free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file them with, or furnish them to, the SEC. The information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
In addition to our website, you may read and copy public reports we file with or furnish to the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains our reports, proxy and information statements, and other information that we file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov.

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ITEM 1A.
RISK FACTORS
The following risk factors may be important to understanding any statement in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or elsewhere. Our business, financial condition and operating results can be affected by a number of factors, whether currently known or unknown, including but not limited to those described below. Any one or more of such factors could directly or indirectly cause our actual results of operations and financial condition to vary materially from past or anticipated future results of operations and financial condition. Any of these factors, in whole or in part, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and stock price.
Our revenue is highly dependent on transaction volumes in the global travel industry, particularly air travel transaction volumes.
Our Travel Network and Airline and Hospitality Solutions revenue is largely tied to travel suppliers’ transaction volumes rather than to their unit pricing for an airplane ticket, hotel room or other travel products. This revenue is generally not contractually committed to recur annually under our agreements with our travel suppliers. As a result, our revenue is highly dependent on the global travel industry, particularly air travel from which we derive a substantial amount of our revenue, and directly correlates with global travel, tourism and transportation transaction volumes. Our revenue is therefore highly susceptible to declines in or disruptions to leisure and business travel that may be caused by factors entirely out of our control, and therefore may not recur if these declines or disruptions occur.
Various factors may cause temporary or sustained disruption to leisure and business travel. The impact these disruptions would have on our business depends on the magnitude and duration of such disruption. These factors include, among others:
general and local economic conditions;
financial instability of travel suppliers and the impact of any fundamental corporate changes to such travel suppliers, such as airline bankruptcies or consolidations, on the cost and availability of travel content;
factors that affect demand for travel such as outbreaks of contagious diseases, including influenza, Zika, Ebola and the MERS virus, increases in fuel prices, changing attitudes towards the environmental costs of travel and safety concerns;
political events like acts or threats of terrorism, hostilities, and war;
inclement weather, natural or man-made disasters; and
factors that affect supply of travel such as travel restrictions or changes to regulations governing airlines and the travel industry, like government sanctions that do or would prohibit doing business with certain state-owned travel suppliers, work stoppages or labor unrest at any of the major airlines, hotels or airports.
Our success depends on maintaining the integrity of our systems and infrastructure, which may suffer from failures, capacity constraints, business interruptions and forces outside of our control.
We may be unable to maintain and improve the efficiency, reliability and integrity of our systems. Unexpected increases in the volume of our business could exceed system capacity, resulting in service interruptions, outages and delays. These constraints can also lead to the deterioration of our services or impair our ability to process transactions. We occasionally experience system interruptions that make certain of our systems unavailable including, but not limited to, our GDS and the services that our Airline and Hospitality Solutions business provides to airlines and hotels. System interruptions may prevent us from efficiently providing services to customers or other third parties, which could cause damage to our reputation and result in our losing customers and revenues or cause us to incur litigation and liabilities. Although we have contractually limited our liability for damages caused by outages of our GDS (other than damages caused by our gross negligence or willful misconduct), we cannot guarantee that we will not be subject to lawsuits or other claims for compensation from our customers in connection with such outages for which we may not be indemnified or compensated.
Our systems may also be susceptible to external damage or disruption. Much of the computer and communications hardware upon which we depend is located across multiple data center facilities in a single geographic region. Our systems could be damaged or disrupted by power, hardware, software or telecommunication failures, human errors, natural events including floods, hurricanes, fires, winter storms, earthquakes and tornadoes, terrorism, break-ins, hostilities, war or similar events. Computer viruses, malware, denial of service attacks, attacks on hardware vulnerabilities, physical or electronic break-ins, cybersecurity incidents or other security breaches, and similar disruptions affecting the Internet, telecommunication services or our systems could cause service interruptions or the loss of critical data, and could prevent us from providing timely services. See “-Security breaches could expose us to liability and damage our reputation and our business.” Failure to efficiently provide services to customers or other third parties could cause damage to our reputation and result in the loss of customers and revenues, significant recovery costs or litigation and liabilities. Moreover, such risks are likely to increase as we expand our business and as the tools and techniques involved become more sophisticated.
Although we have implemented measures intended to protect certain systems and critical data and provide comprehensive disaster recovery and contingency plans for certain customers that purchase this additional protection, these protections and plans are not in place for all systems. Furthermore, several of our existing critical backup systems are located in the same metropolitan area as our primary systems and we may not have sufficient disaster recovery tools or resources available, depending on the type or size of the disruption. Disasters affecting our facilities, systems or personnel might be expensive to remedy and could significantly diminish our reputation and our brands, and we may not have adequate insurance to cover such costs.

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Customers and other end-users who rely on our software products and services, including our SaaS and hosted offerings, for applications that are integral to their businesses may have a greater sensitivity to product errors and security vulnerabilities than customers for software products generally. Additionally, security breaches that affect third parties upon which we rely, such as travel suppliers, may further expose us to negative publicity, possible liability or regulatory penalties. Events outside our control could cause interruptions in our IT systems, which could have a material adverse effect on our business operations and harm our reputation.
We rely on the availability and performance of information technology services provided by third parties, including DXC Technology ("DXC"), which manages a significant portion of our systems.
Our businesses are largely dependent on the computer data centers and network systems operated for us by DXC, and its third-party providers, including AT&T, which DXC began outsourcing certain network services to in the fourth quarter of 2017. We also rely on other developers and service providers to maintain and support our global telecommunications infrastructure, including to connect our computer data center and call centers to end-users.
Our success is dependent on our ability to maintain effective relationships with these third-party technology and service providers. Some of our agreements with third-party technology and service providers are terminable for cause on short notice and often provide limited recourse for service interruptions. For example, our agreement with DXC provides us with limited indemnification rights. We could face significant additional cost or business disruption if:
Any of these providers fail to enable us to provide our customers and suppliers with reliable, real-time access to our systems. For example, in 2013, we experienced a significant outage of the Sabre platform due to a failure on the part of one of our service providers. This outage, which affected both our Travel Network business and our Airline Solutions business, lasted several hours and caused significant problems for our customers. Any such future outages could cause damage to our reputation, customer loss and require us to pay compensation to affected customers for which we may not be indemnified or compensated.
Our arrangements with such providers are terminated or impaired and we cannot find alternative sources of technology or systems support on commercially reasonable terms or on a timely basis. For example, our substantial dependence on DXC for many of our systems makes it difficult for us to switch vendors and makes us more sensitive to changes in DXC's pricing for its services.
In addition, DXC was formed in April 2017 from the spin-off of HP Enterprises' Services segment business and merger with CSC. There could be uncertainty, delays or disruptions in DXC's services as a result of these transactions, which could result in additional costs or business disruptions for us.
Security breaches could expose us to liability and damage our reputation and our business.
We process, store, and transmit large amounts of data, including personally identifiable information ("PII") and payment card industry data ("PCI") of our customers, and it is critical to our business strategy that our facilities and infrastructure, including those provided by DXC (as defined below) or other vendors, remain secure and are perceived by the marketplace to be secure. Our infrastructure may be vulnerable to physical or electronic break-ins, computer viruses, or similar disruptive problems.

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In addition, we, like most technology companies, are the target of cybercriminals who attempt to compromise our systems.  We are subject to and experience threats and intrusions that have to be identified and remediated to protect sensitive information along with our intellectual property and our overall business. To address these threats and intrusions, we have a team of experienced security experts and support from firms that specialize in data security and cybersecurity. We are periodically subject to these threats and intrusions, and sensitive or material information could be compromised as a result. The costs of any investigation of such incidents, as well as any remediation related to these incidents, may be material. As previously disclosed, we became aware of an incident involving unauthorized access to payment information contained in a subset of hotel reservations processed through the Sabre Hospitality Solutions SynXis Central Reservation system (the “HS Central Reservation System”). Our investigation was supported by third party experts, including a leading cybersecurity firm. Our investigation determined that an unauthorized party: obtained access to account credentials that permitted access to a subset of hotel reservations processed through the HS Central Reservation System; used the account credentials to view a credit card summary page on the HS Central Reservation System and access payment card information (although we use encryption, this credential had the right to see unencrypted card data); and first obtained access to payment card information and some other reservation information on August 10, 2016. The last access to payment card information was on March 9, 2017. The unauthorized party was able to access information for certain hotel reservations, including cardholder name; payment card number; card expiration date; and, for a subset of reservations, card security code. The unauthorized party was also able, in some cases, to access certain information such as guest name(s), email, phone number, address, and other information if provided to the HS Central Reservation System. Information such as Social Security, passport, or driver’s license number was not accessed. The investigation did not uncover forensic evidence that the unauthorized party removed any information from the system, but it is a possibility. We took successful measures to ensure this unauthorized access to the HS Central Reservation System was stopped and is no longer possible. There is no indication that any of our systems beyond the HS Central Reservation System, such as Sabre’s Airline Solutions and Travel Network platforms, were affected or accessed by the unauthorized party. We notified law enforcement and the payment card brands, who engaged a PCI forensic investigator to investigate this incident. We have notified customers and other companies that use or interact with, directly or indirectly, the HS Central Reservation System about the incident. We are also cooperating with various governmental authorities that are investigating this incident. Separately, in November 2017, Sabre Hospitality Solutions observed a pattern of activity that, after further investigation, led it to believe that an unauthorized party improperly obtained access to certain hotel user credentials for purposes of accessing the HS Central Reservation System. We deactivated the compromised accounts and notified law enforcement of this activity. We also notified the payment card brands, and at their request, we have engaged a PCI forensic investigator to investigate this incident. We have not found any evidence of a breach of the network security of the HS Central Reservation System, and we believe that the number of affected reservations represents only a fraction of 1% of the bookings in the HS Central Reservation System. The costs related to these incidents, including any associated penalties assessed by any governmental authority or payment card brand, as well as any other impacts or remediation related to them, may be material. See Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies, to our consolidated financial statements for a discussion of a lawsuit filed in connection with these incidents. As noted below, we maintain insurance that covers certain aspects of cyber risks, and we continue to work with our insurance carriers in these matters.
Any computer viruses, malware, denial of service attacks, attacks on hardware vulnerabilities, physical or electronic break-ins, cybersecurity incidents, such as the items described above, or other security breach or compromise of the information handled by us or our service providers may jeopardize the security or integrity of information in our computer systems and networks or those of our customers and cause significant interruptions in our and our customers’ operations.
Any systems and processes that we have developed that are designed to protect customer information and prevent data loss and other security breaches cannot provide absolute security. In addition, we may not successfully implement remediation plans to address all potential exposures. It is possible that we may have to expend additional financial and other resources to address these problems. Failure to prevent or mitigate data loss or other security breaches could expose us or our customers to a risk of loss or misuse of such information, cause customers to lose confidence in our data protection measures, damage our reputation, adversely affect our operating results or result in litigation or potential liability for us. While we maintain insurance coverage that may, subject to policy terms and conditions, cover certain aspects of cyber risks, this insurance coverage is subject to a retention amount and may not be applicable to a particular incident or otherwise may be insufficient to cover all our losses beyond any retention. Similarly, we expect to continue to make significant investments in our information technology infrastructure. The implementation of these investments may be more costly or take longer than we anticipate, or could otherwise adversely affect our business operations, which could negatively impact our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

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Implementation of software solutions often involves a significant commitment of resources, and any failure to deliver as promised on a significant implementation could adversely affect our business.
In our Travel Network business and our Airline and Hospitality Solutions business, the implementation of software solutions often involves a significant commitment of resources and is subject to a number of significant risks over which we may or may not have control. These risks include:
the features of the implemented software may not meet the expectations or fit the business model of the customer;
our limited pool of trained experts for implementations cannot quickly and easily be augmented for complex implementation projects, such that resources issues, if not planned and managed effectively, could lead to costly project delays;
customer-specific factors, such as the stability, functionality, interconnection and scalability of the customer’s pre-existing information technology infrastructure, as well as financial or other circumstances could destabilize, delay or prevent the completion of the implementation process, which, for airline reservations systems, typically takes 12 to 18 months; and
customers and their partners may not fully or timely perform the actions required to be performed by them to ensure successful implementation, including measures we recommend to safeguard against technical and business risks.
As a result of these and other risks, some of our customers may incur large, unplanned costs in connection with the purchase and installation of our software products. Also, implementation projects could take longer than planned or fail. We may not be able to reduce or eliminate protracted installation or significant additional costs. Significant delays or unsuccessful customer implementation projects could result in cancellation or renegotiation of existing agreements, claims from customers, harm our reputation and negatively impact our operating results.
Our Travel Network business is exposed to pricing pressure from travel suppliers.
Travel suppliers continue to look for ways to decrease their costs and to increase their control over distribution. For example, consolidation in the airline industry, the growth of LCC/hybrids and macroeconomic factors, among other things, have driven some airlines to negotiate for lower fees during contract renegotiations, thereby exerting increased pricing pressure on our Travel Network business, which, in turn, negatively affects our revenues and margins. In addition, travel suppliers’ use of alternative distribution channels, such as direct distribution through supplier-operated websites, may also adversely affect our contract renegotiations with these suppliers and negatively impact our transaction fee revenue. For example, as we attempt to renegotiate new agreements with our travel suppliers, they may withhold some or all of their content (fares and associated economic terms) for distribution exclusively through their direct distribution channels (for example, the relevant airline’s website) or offer travelers more attractive terms for content available through those direct channels after their contracts expire. As a result of these sources of negotiating pressure, we may have to decrease our prices to retain their business. If we are unable to renew our contracts with these travel suppliers on similar economic terms or at all, or if our ability to provide this content is similarly impeded, this would also adversely affect the value of our Travel Network business as a marketplace due to our more limited content. See “—Travel suppliers’ use of alternative distribution models, such as direct distribution models, could adversely affect our Travel Network business.”
Our travel supplier customers may experience financial instability or consolidation, pursue cost reductions, change their distribution model or undergo other changes.
We generate the majority of our revenue and accounts receivable from airlines. We also derive revenue from hotels, car rental brands, rail carriers, cruise lines, tour operators and other suppliers in the travel and tourism industries. Adverse changes in any of these relationships or the inability to enter into new relationships could negatively impact the demand for and competitiveness of our travel products and services. For example, a lack of liquidity in the capital markets or weak economic performance may cause our travel suppliers to increase the time they take to pay or to default on their payment obligations, which could lead to a higher level of bad debt expense and negatively affect our results. Any large-scale bankruptcy or other insolvency proceeding of an airline or hospitality supplier could subject our agreements with that customer to rejection or early termination. Because we generally do not require security or collateral from our customers as a condition of sale, our revenues may be subject to credit risk more generally.
Furthermore, supplier consolidation, particularly in the airline industry, could harm our business. Our Travel Network business depends on a relatively small number of U.S.-based airlines for a substantial portion of its revenue, and all of our businesses are highly dependent on airline ticket volumes. Consolidation among airlines could result in the loss of an existing customer and the related fee revenue, decreased airline ticket volumes due to capacity restrictions implemented concurrently with the consolidation, and increased airline concentration and bargaining power to negotiate lower transaction fees. See "—Our Travel Network business is exposed to pricing pressure from travel suppliers." In addition, consolidation among travel suppliers may result in one or more suppliers refusing to provide certain content to Sabre but rather making it exclusively available on the suppliers’ proprietary websites, hurting the competitive position of our GDS relative to those websites. See “—Travel suppliers’ use of alternative distribution models, such as direct distribution models, could adversely affect our Travel Network business.”

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Travel suppliers’ use of alternative distribution models, such as direct distribution models, could adversely affect our Travel Network business.
Some travel suppliers that provide content to Travel Network, including some of Travel Network’s largest airline customers, have sought to increase usage of direct distribution channels. For example, these travel suppliers are trying to move more consumer traffic to their proprietary websites, and some travel suppliers have explored direct connect initiatives linking their internal reservations systems directly with travel agencies or TMCs, thereby bypassing the GDSs. This direct distribution trend enables them to apply pricing pressure on intermediaries and negotiate travel distribution arrangements that are less favorable to intermediaries. With travel suppliers’ adoption of certain technology solutions over the last decade, including those offered by our Airline and Hospitality Solutions business, air travel suppliers have increased the proportion of direct bookings relative to indirect bookings. In the future, airlines may increase their use of direct distribution, which may cause a material decrease in their use of our GDS. Travel suppliers may also offer travelers advantages through their websites such as special fares and bonus miles, which could make their offerings more attractive than those available through our GDS platform. Similarly, travel suppliers may also seek to encourage travelers’ and travel agencies’ usage of their proprietary booking platforms by selectively increasing the ticket price in our GDS, making our GDS platform’s offerings more expensive than some alternative offerings. For example, we are currently engaged in litigation with the Lufthansa Group in connection with a surcharge that the Lufthansa Group has imposed on tickets purchased through three selected GDSs, including Sabre. The Lufthansa Group is seeking declaratory judgment that this surcharge does not violate the terms of its agreement with us, in addition to damages related to the allegations of breach of contract and tortious interference with agency contracts. We deny the allegations and we have filed a counterclaim that asserts the Lufthansa Group’s surcharge is a violation of its agreement and that seeks an order requiring the Lufthansa Group to specifically perform its obligations under the agreement.
In addition, with respect to ancillary products, travel suppliers may choose not to comply with the technical standards that would allow ancillary products to be immediately distributed via intermediaries, thus resulting in a delay before these products become available through our GDS relative to availability through direct distribution. In addition, if enough travel suppliers choose not to develop ancillary products in a standardized way with respect to technical standards our investment in adapting our various systems to enable the sale of ancillary products may not be successful.
Companies with close relationships with end consumers, like Facebook, as well as new entrants introducing new paradigms into the travel industry, such as metasearch engines, like Google, may promote alternative distribution channels to our GDS by diverting consumer traffic away from intermediaries, which may adversely affect our GDS business.
Additionally, technological advancements may allow airlines and hotels to facilitate broader connectivity to and integration with large travel buyers, such that certain airline and hotel offerings could be made available directly to such travel buyers without the involvement of intermediaries such as Travel Network and its competitors.
Any inability or failure to adapt to technological developments or the evolving competitive landscape could harm our business operations and competitiveness.
We depend upon the use of sophisticated information technology and systems. Our competitiveness and future results depend on our ability to maintain and make timely and cost-effective enhancements, upgrades and additions to our products, services, technologies and systems in response to new technological developments, industry standards and trends and customer demands. For example, IATA has promulgated its new distribution capability (“NDC”) standard. Depending on the level of adoption of this standard, our failure to integrate NDC into our technology or anticipate the evolution of next generation retailing and distribution could adversely affect our financial performance. As another example, migration of our enterprise applications and platforms to other hosting environments could cause us to incur substantial costs, as well as result in instability and business interruptions, which could materially harm our business.
Adapting to new technological and marketplace developments, such as NDC, may require substantial expenditures and lead time and we cannot guarantee that projected future increases in business volume will actually materialize. We may experience difficulties that could delay or prevent the successful development, marketing and implementation of enhancements, upgrades and additions. Moreover, we may fail to maintain, upgrade or introduce new products, services, technologies and systems as quickly as our competitors or in a cost-effective manner. For example, we must constantly update our GDS with new capabilities to adapt to the changing technological environment and customer needs. However, this process can be costly and time-consuming, and our efforts may not be successful as compared to our competitors in the travel distribution market. Those that we do develop may not achieve acceptance in the marketplace sufficient to generate material revenue or may be rendered obsolete or non-competitive by our competitors’ offerings.
In addition, our competitors are constantly increasing their product and service offerings through organic research and development or through strategic acquisitions. As a result, we must continue to invest significant resources in research and development in order to continually improve the speed, accuracy and comprehensiveness of our services and we may be required to make changes to our technology platforms or increase our investment in technology, increase marketing, adjust prices or business models and take other actions, which could affect our financial performance and liquidity.

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Our ability to maintain and grow our Airline and Hospitality Solutions business may be negatively affected by competition from other third-party solutions providers and new participants that seek to enter the solutions market.
Our Airline and Hospitality Solutions business principally faces competition from existing third-party solutions providers. We also compete with various point solutions providers on a more limited basis in several discrete functional areas. For our Hospitality Solutions business, we face competition across many aspects of our business but our primary competitors are in the hospitality CRS and PMS fields.
Factors that may affect the competitive success of our Airline and Hospitality Solutions business include our pricing structure, our ability to keep pace with technological developments, the effectiveness and reliability of our implementation and system migration processes, our ability to meet a variety of customer specifications, the effectiveness and reliability of our systems, the cost and efficiency of our system upgrades and our customer support services. Our failure to compete effectively on these and other factors could decrease our market share, adversely impact our pricing or otherwise negatively affect our Airline and Hospitality Solutions business.
The travel distribution market is highly competitive, and we are subject to competition from other GDS providers, direct distribution by travel suppliers and new entrants or technologies that may challenge the GDS business model.
The evolution of the global travel and tourism industry, the introduction of new technologies and standards and the expansion of existing technologies in key markets, among other factors, could contribute to an intensification of competition in the business areas and regions in which we operate. Increased competition could require us to increase spending on marketing activities or product development, to decrease our booking or transaction fees and other charges (or defer planned increases in such fees and charges), to increase incentive consideration or take other actions that could harm our business. A GDS has two broad categories of customers: (i) travel suppliers, such as airlines, hotels, car rental brands, rail carriers, cruise lines and tour operators, and (ii) travel buyers, such as online and offline travel agencies, TMCs and corporate travel departments. The competitive positioning of a GDS depends on the success it achieves with both customer categories. Other factors that may affect the competitive success of a GDS include the comprehensiveness, timeliness and accuracy of the travel content offered, the reliability, ease of use and innovativeness of the technology, the perceived value proposition of our GDS by travel suppliers and travel buyers, the incentive consideration provided to travel agencies, the transaction fees charged to travel suppliers and the range of products and services available to travel suppliers and travel buyers. Our GDS competitors could seek to capture market share by offering more differentiated content, products or services, increasing the incentive consideration to travel agencies, or decreasing the transaction fees charged to travel suppliers, which would harm our business to the extent they gain market share from us or force us to respond by lowering our prices or increasing the incentive consideration we provide.
We cannot guarantee that we will be able to compete successfully against our current and future competitors in the travel distribution market, some of which may achieve greater brand recognition than us, have greater financial, marketing, personnel and other resources or be able to secure services and products from travel suppliers on more favorable terms. If we fail to overcome these competitive pressures, we may lose market share and our business may otherwise be negatively affected.
Our Travel Network business depends on relationships with travel buyers.
Our Travel Network business relies on relationships with several large travel buyers, including TMCs and OTAs, to generate a large portion of its revenue through bookings made by these travel companies. This revenue concentration in a relatively small number of travel buyers makes us particularly dependent on factors affecting those companies. For example, if demand for their services decreases, or if a key supplier pulls its content from us, travel buyers may stop utilizing our services or move all or some of their business to competitors or competing channels.
Although our contracts with larger travel agencies often increase the incentive consideration when the travel agency processes a certain volume or percentage of its bookings through our GDS, travel buyers are not contractually required to book exclusively through our GDS during the contract term. Travel buyers may shift bookings to other distribution intermediaries for many reasons, including to avoid becoming overly dependent on a single source of travel content or to increase their bargaining power with GDS providers. Additionally, some regulations allow travel buyers to terminate their contracts earlier.
These risks are exacerbated by increased consolidation among travel agencies and TMCs, which may ultimately reduce the pool of travel agencies that subscribe to GDSs. We must compete with other GDSs and other competitors for their business by offering competitive upfront incentive consideration, which, due to the strong bargaining power of these large travel buyers, tend to increase in each round of contract renewals. See "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Factors Affecting Our Results—Increasing travel agency incentive consideration" included in Part II, Item 7 for more information about our incentive consideration. However, any reduction in transaction fees from travel suppliers due to supplier consolidation or other market forces could limit our ability to increase incentive consideration to travel agencies in a cost-effective manner or otherwise affect our margins.

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Our Travel Network business and our Airline and Hospitality Solutions business depend on maintaining and renewing contracts with their customers and other counterparties.
In our Travel Network business, we enter into participating carrier distribution and services agreements with airlines. Our contracts with major carriers typically last for three- to five-year terms and are generally subject to automatic renewal at the end of the term, unless terminated by either party with the required advance notice. Our contracts with smaller airlines generally last for one year and are also subject to automatic renewal at the end of the term, unless terminated by either party with the required advance notice. Airlines are not contractually obligated to distribute exclusively through our GDS during the contract term and may terminate their agreements with us upon providing the required advance notice after the expiration of the initial term. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to renew our airline contracts in the future on favorable economic terms or at all. See “—Our Travel Network business is exposed to pricing pressure from travel suppliers."
We also enter into contracts with travel buyers. Although most of our travel buyer contracts have terms of one to three years, we typically have non-exclusive, five- to ten-year contracts with our major travel agency customers. We also typically have three- to five-year contracts with corporate travel departments, which generally renew automatically unless terminated with the required advance notice. A meaningful portion of our travel buyer agreements, typically representing approximately 15% to 20% of our bookings, are up for renewal in any given year. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to renew our travel buyer agreements in the future on favorable economic terms or at all.
Similarly, our Airline and Hospitality Solutions business is based on contracts with travel suppliers for a typical duration of three to seven years for airlines and one to five years for hotels. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to renew our solutions contracts in the future on favorable economic terms or at all.
Additionally, we use several third-party distributor partners and joint ventures to extend our GDS services in EMEA and APAC. The termination of our contractual arrangements with any of these third-party distributor partners and joint ventures could adversely impact our Travel Network business in the relevant markets. See “—We rely on third-party distributor partners and joint ventures to extend our GDS services to certain regions, which exposes us to risks associated with lack of direct management control and potential conflicts of interest” for more information on our relationships with our third-party distributor partners and joint ventures.
Our failure to renew some or all of these agreements on economically favorable terms or at all, or the early termination of these existing contracts, would adversely affect the value of our Travel Network business as a marketplace due to our limited content and distribution reach, which could cause some of our subscribers to move to a competing GDS or use other travel technology providers for the solutions we provide and would materially harm our business, reputation and brand. Our business therefore relies on our ability to renew our agreements with our travel buyers, travel suppliers, third-party distributor partners and joint ventures or developing relationships with new travel buyers and travel suppliers to offset any customer losses.
We are subject to a certain degree of revenue concentration among a portion of our customer base. Because of this concentration among a small number of customers, if an event were to adversely affect one of these customers, it could have a material impact on our business.
Our ability to recruit, train and retain employees, including our key executive officers and technical employees, is critical to our results of operations and future growth.
Our continued ability to compete effectively depends on our ability to recruit new employees and retain and motivate existing employees, particularly professionals with experience in our industry, information technology and systems, as well as our key executive officers. For example, the specialized skills we require can be difficult and time-consuming to acquire and are often in short supply. There is high demand and competition for well-qualified employees on a global basis, such as software engineers, developers and other technology professionals with specialized knowledge in software development, especially expertise in certain programming languages. This competition affects both our ability to retain key employees and to hire new ones. Similarly, uncertainty in the global political environment may adversely affect our ability to hire and retain key employees.
Any of our employees may choose to terminate their employment with us at any time, and a lengthy period of time is required to hire and train replacement employees when such skilled individuals leave the company. For example, Sean Menke was elected as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sabre on December 31, 2016. Subsequent to his election, we have announced modifications to our business strategies and increased long-term investment in key areas, such as technology infrastructure, that may continue to have a negative impact in the short term due to expected increases in operating expenses and capital expenditures.
If we fail to attract well-qualified employees or to retain or motivate existing employees, our business could be materially hindered by, for example, a delay in our ability to deliver products and services under contract, bring new products and services to market or respond swiftly to customer demands or new offerings from competitors. Even if we are able to maintain our employee base, the resources needed to recruit and retain such employees may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Our collection, processing, storage, use and transmission of personal data could give rise to liabilities as a result of governmental regulation, conflicting legal requirements, differing views on data privacy or security breaches.
We collect, process, store, use and transmit a large volume of personal data on a daily basis, including, for example, to process travel transactions for our customers and to deliver other travel-related products and services. Personal data is increasingly subject to legal and regulatory protections around the world, which vary widely in approach and which possibly conflict with one another. In recent years, for example, U.S. legislators and regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission, as well as U.S. states, have increased their focus on protecting personal data by law and regulation, and have increased enforcement actions for violations of privacy and data protection requirements. The European Commission also recently approved and adopted the GDPR, a new data protection law, which will apply beginning in May 2018. These data protection laws and regulations are intended to protect the privacy and security of personal data, including credit card information that is collected, processed and transmitted in or from the relevant jurisdiction. Implementation of and compliance with these laws and regulations may be more costly or take longer than we anticipate, or could otherwise adversely affect our business operations, which could negatively impact our financial position or cash flows. Additionally, media coverage of data breaches has escalated, in part because of the increased number of enforcement actions, investigations and lawsuits. As this focus and attention on privacy and data protection increases, we also risk exposure to potential liabilities and costs resulting from the compliance with, or any failure to comply with applicable legal requirements, conflicts among these legal requirements or differences in approaches to privacy and security of travel data. Our business could be materially adversely affected by our inability, or the inability of our vendors who receive personal data from us, to comply with legal obligations regarding the use of personal data, new data handling requirements that conflict with or negatively impact our business practices. In addition, our agreements with customers may also require that we indemnify the customer for liability arising from data breaches under the terms of our agreements with these customers. These indemnification obligations could be significant and may exceed the limits of any applicable insurance policy we maintain. See “—Security breaches could expose us to liability and damage our reputation and our business.”
We are exposed to risks associated with PCI compliance.
The PCI Data Security Standard (“PCI DSS”) is a specific set of comprehensive security standards required by credit card brands for enhancing payment account data security, including but not limited to requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, and software design. PCI DSS compliance is required in order to maintain credit card processing services. The cost of compliance with PCI DSS is significant and may increase as the requirements change. We are tested periodically for assurance and successfully completed our last annual assessment in September 2017. Compliance does not guarantee a completely secure environment and notwithstanding the results of this assessment there can be no assurance that payment card brands will not request further compliance assessments or set forth additional requirements to maintain access to credit card processing services. See “-Security breaches could expose us to liability and damage our reputation and our business.” Compliance is an ongoing effort and the requirements evolve as new threats are identified. In the event that we were to lose PCI DSS compliance status (or fail to renew compliance under a future version of the PCI DSS), we could be exposed to increased operating costs, fines and penalties and, in extreme circumstances, may have our credit card processing privileges revoked, which would have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our business could be harmed by adverse global and regional economic and political conditions.
Travel expenditures are sensitive to personal and business discretionary spending levels and grow more slowly or decline during economic downturns. We derive the majority of our revenue from the United States and Europe, and we have expanded Travel Network's presence in APAC. Our geographic concentration in the United States and Europe, as well as our expanded focus in APAC, makes our business potentially vulnerable to economic and political conditions that adversely affect business and leisure travel originating in or traveling to these regions.
Despite modest growth in the U.S. economy, there is still weakness in other parts of the global economy, including increased unemployment, reduced financial capacity of both business and leisure travelers, diminished liquidity and credit availability, declines in consumer confidence and discretionary income and general uncertainty about economic stability. Furthermore, recent changes in the U.S. political environment have resulted in additional uncertainties with respect to travel restrictions, and the regulatory, tax and economic environment in the United States, which could adversely impact travel demand, our business operations or our financial results. We cannot predict the magnitude, length or recurrence of recessionary or low-growth economic patterns, which have impacted, and may continue to impact, demand for travel and lead to reduced spending on the services we provide.
We derive the remainder of our revenues from Latin America, the Middle East and Africa and APAC. Any unfavorable economic, political or regulatory developments in these regions could negatively affect our business, such as delays in payment or non-payment of contracts, delays in contract implementation or signing, carrier control issues and increased costs from regulatory changes particularly as parts of our growth strategy involve expanding our presence in these emerging markets. For example, markets that have traditionally had a high level of exports to China, or that have commodities-based economies, have continued to experience slowing or deteriorating economic conditions. These adverse economic conditions may negatively impact our business results in those regions.

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Similarly, in Venezuela, due to currency controls that impact the ability of certain of our airline customers operating in the country to obtain U.S. dollars to make timely payments to us, the collection of accounts receivable due to us can be, and has been, delayed. Due to the nature of this delay, we are deferring the recognition of any future revenues until cash is collected in accordance with our policies. Accordingly, our accounts receivable are subject to a general collection risk, as there can be no assurance that we will be paid from such customers in a timely manner, if at all. In response to the political and economic uncertainty in Venezuela, certain airlines have scaled back operations in response to the reduced demand for travel by local consumers as well as the currency controls which has impacted our airline customers in Venezuela.
Voters in the U.K. have approved the exit of that country from the E.U. (“Brexit”), and the British government has provided official notification to the E.U. that it intends to withdraw from the E.U. The Brexit vote and related process have created significant economic uncertainty in the U.K. and in EMEA, which may negatively impact our business results in those regions. In addition, the terms of the U.K.’s withdrawal from the E.U., once negotiated, could potentially disrupt the markets we serve and the tax jurisdictions in which we operate and adversely change tax benefits or liabilities in these or other jurisdictions, and may cause us to lose customers, suppliers, and employees. In addition, Brexit could lead to legal uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the U.K. determines which E.U. laws to replace or replicate.
We operate a global business that exposes us to risks associated with international activities.
Our international operations involve risks that are not generally encountered when doing business in the United States. These risks include, but are not limited to:
business, political and economic instability in foreign locations, including actual or threatened terrorist activities, and military action;
adverse laws and regulatory requirements, including more comprehensive regulation in the E.U. and the possible effects of the Brexit vote;
changes in foreign currency exchange rates and financial risk arising from transactions in multiple currencies;
difficulty in developing, managing and staffing international operations because of distance, language and cultural differences;
disruptions to or delays in the development of communication and transportation services and infrastructure;
more restrictive data privacy requirements, including the GDPR;
consumer attitudes, including the preference of customers for local providers;
increasing labor costs due to high wage inflation in foreign locations, differences in general employment conditions and regulations, and the degree of employee unionization and activism;
export or trade restrictions or currency controls;
governmental policies or actions, such as consumer, labor and trade protection measures and travel restrictions;
taxes, restrictions on foreign investment and limits on the repatriation of funds;
diminished ability to legally enforce our contractual rights; and
decreased protection for intellectual property.
Any of the foregoing risks may adversely affect our ability to conduct and grow our business internationally.
We rely on the value of our brands, which may be damaged by a number of factors, some of which are out of our control.
We believe that maintaining and expanding our portfolio of product and service brands are important aspects of our efforts to attract and expand our customer base. Our brands may be negatively impacted by, among other things, unreliable service levels from third-party providers, customers’ inability to properly interface their applications with our technology, the loss or unauthorized disclosure of personal data, including PCI or PII, or other bad publicity due to litigation, regulatory concerns or otherwise relating to our business. See “—Security breaches could expose us to liability and damage our reputation and our business.” Any inability to maintain or enhance awareness of our brands among our existing and target customers could negatively affect our current and future business prospects.

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We are involved in various legal proceedings which may cause us to incur significant fees, costs and expenses and may result in unfavorable outcomes.
We are involved in various legal proceedings that involve claims for substantial amounts of money or which involve how we conduct our business. See Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies, to our consolidated financial statements. For example, the court has entered a judgment against us as a result of the jury verdict we recently received in the antitrust litigation with US Airways, and we have appealed this judgment. Other parties might likewise seek to benefit from any unfavorable outcome by threatening to bring or actually bringing their own claims against us on the same or similar grounds or utilizing the litigation to seek more favorable contract terms. We are also subject to a U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") antitrust investigation from 2011 relating to the pricing and conduct of the airline distribution industry. We received a civil investigation demand ("CID") from the DOJ and we are fully cooperating. The DOJ has also sent CIDs to other companies in the travel industry. Based on its findings in the investigation, the DOJ may (i) close the file, (ii) seek a consent decree to remedy issues it believes violate the antitrust laws, or (iii) file suit against us for violating the antitrust laws, seeking injunctive relief. Depending on the outcome of any of these proceedings, and the scope of the outcome, the manner in which our airline distribution business is operated could be affected and could potentially force changes to the existing airline distribution business model.
The defense of these actions, as well as any of the other actions described under Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies, to our consolidated financial statements or elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and any other actions brought against us in the future, is time consuming and diverts management’s attention. Even if we are ultimately successful in defending ourselves in such matters, we are likely to incur significant fees, costs and expenses as long as they are ongoing. Any of these consequences could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Any failure to comply with regulations or any changes in such regulations governing our businesses could adversely affect us.
Parts of our business operate in regulated industries and could be adversely affected by unfavorable changes in or the enactment of new laws, rules or regulations applicable to us, which could decrease demand for our products and services, increase costs or subject us to additional liabilities. Moreover, regulatory authorities have relatively broad discretion to grant, renew and revoke licenses and approvals and to implement or interpret regulations. Accordingly, these regulatory authorities could prevent or temporarily suspend us from carrying on some or all of our activities or otherwise penalize us if our practices were found not to comply with the applicable regulatory or licensing requirements or any interpretation of such requirements by the regulatory authority. Our failure to comply with any of these requirements or interpretations could have a material adverse effect on our operations.
Further, the United States has imposed economic sanctions that affect transactions with designated countries, including Cuba, Iran, Crimea region, North Korea and Syria, and nationals and others of those countries, and certain specifically targeted individuals and entities engaged in conduct detrimental to U.S. national security interests. These sanctions are administered by the OFAC and are typically known as the OFAC regulations. These regulations are extensive and complex, and they differ from one sanctions regime to another. Failure to comply with these regulations could subject us to legal and reputational consequences, including civil and criminal penalties.
We have GDS contracts with carriers that fly to Cuba, Iran, Crimea region, North Korea and Syria but are based outside of those countries and are not owned by those governments or nationals of those governments. With respect to Iran, Sudan, North Korea and Syria we believe that our activities are designed to comply with certain information and travel-related exemptions. With respect to Cuba, we have advised OFAC that customers outside the United States we display on the Sabre GDS flight information for, and support booking and ticketing of, services of non-Cuban airlines that offer service to Cuba. Based on advice of counsel, we believe these activities to fall under an exemption from OFAC regulations applicable to the transmission of information and informational materials and transactions related thereto.
We believe that our activities with respect to these countries are known to OFAC. We note, however, that OFAC regulations and related interpretive guidance are complex and subject to varying interpretations. Due to this complexity, OFAC’s interpretation of its own regulations and guidance vary on a case to case basis. As a result, we cannot provide any guarantees that OFAC will not challenge any of our activities in the future, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
In Europe, GDS regulations or interpretations thereof may increase our cost of doing business or lower our revenues, limit our ability to sell marketing data, impact relationships with travel buyers, airlines, rail carriers or others, impair the enforceability of existing agreements with travel buyers and other users of our system, prohibit or limit us from offering services or products, or limit our ability to establish or change fees. Although regulations specifically governing GDSs have been lifted in the United States, they remain subject to general regulation regarding unfair trade practices by the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”). In addition, continued regulation of GDSs in the E.U. and elsewhere could also create the operational challenge of supporting different products, services and business practices to conform to the different regulatory regimes. We do not currently maintain a central database of all regulatory requirements affecting our worldwide operations and, as a result, the risk of non-compliance with the laws and regulations described above is heightened. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations may subject us to fines, penalties and potential criminal violations. Any changes to these laws or regulations or any new laws or regulations may make it more difficult for us to operate our business.

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We rely on third-party distributor partners and joint ventures to extend our GDS services to certain regions, which exposes us to risks associated with lack of direct management control and potential conflicts of interest.
Our Travel Network business utilizes third-party distributor partners and joint ventures to extend our GDS services in EMEA and APAC. We work with these partners to establish and maintain commercial and customer service relationships with both travel suppliers and travel buyers. Since, in many cases, we do not exercise full management control over their day-to-day operations, the success of their marketing efforts and the quality of the services they provide are beyond our control. If these partners do not meet our standards for distribution, our reputation may suffer materially, and sales in those regions could decline significantly. Any interruption in these third-party services, deterioration in their performance or termination of our contractual arrangements with them could negatively impact our ability to extend our GDS services in the relevant markets. In addition, our business may be harmed due to potential conflicts of interest with our joint venture partners.
We use open source software in our solutions that may subject our software solutions to general release or require us to re-engineer our solutions.
We use open source software in our solutions and may use more open source software in the future. From time to time, there have been claims by companies claiming ownership of software that was previously thought to be open source and that was incorporated by other companies into their products. As a result, we could be subject to suits by parties claiming ownership of what we believe to be open source software. Some open source licenses contain requirements that we make available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon the open source software and that we license these modifications or derivative works under the terms of a particular open source license or other license granting third parties certain rights of further use. If we combine or, in some cases, link our proprietary software solutions with or to open source software in a certain manner, we could, under certain of the open source licenses, be required to release the source code of our proprietary software solutions or license such proprietary solutions under the terms of a particular open source license or other license granting third parties certain rights of further use. In addition to risks related to license requirements, usage of open source software can lead to greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or controls on origin of the software. In addition, open source license terms may be ambiguous and many of the risks associated with usage of open source cannot be eliminated, and could, if not properly addressed, negatively affect our business. If we were found to have inappropriately used open source software, we may be required to seek licenses from third parties in order to continue offering our software, to re-engineer our solutions, to discontinue the sale of our solutions in the event re-engineering cannot be accomplished on a timely basis or take other remedial action that may divert resources away from our development efforts, any of which could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.
We are exposed to risks associated with acquiring or divesting businesses or business operations.
We have acquired, and, as part of our growth strategy, may in the future acquire, businesses or business operations. We may not be able to identify suitable candidates for additional business combinations and strategic investments, obtain financing on acceptable terms for such transactions, obtain necessary regulatory approvals or otherwise consummate such transactions on acceptable terms, or at all. Any acquisitions that we are able to identify and complete may also involve a number of risks, including our inability to successfully or profitably integrate, operate, maintain and manage our newly acquired operations or employees; the diversion of our management’s attention from our existing business to integrate operations and personnel; possible material adverse effects on our results of operations during the integration process; becoming subject to contingent or other liabilities, including liabilities arising from events or conduct predating the acquisition that were not known to us at the time of the acquisition; and our possible inability to achieve the intended objectives of the transaction, including the inability to achieve cost savings and synergies. Acquisitions may also have unanticipated tax, regulatory and accounting ramifications, including recording goodwill and nonamortizable intangible assets that are subject to impairment testing on a regular basis and potential periodic impairment charges and incurring amortization expenses related to certain intangible assets. To consummate any such transactions, we may need to raise external funds through the sale of equity or the issuance of debt in the capital markets or through private placements, which may affect our liquidity and may dilute the value of our common stock. See "—We have a significant amount of indebtedness, which could adversely affect our cash flow and our ability to operate our business and to fulfill our obligations under our indebtedness."
We have also divested, and may in the future divest, businesses or business operations. Any divestitures may involve a number of risks, including the diversion of management’s attention, significant costs and expenses, the loss of customer relationships and cash flow, and the disruption of the affected business or business operations. Failure to timely complete or to consummate a divestiture may negatively affect the valuation of the affected business or business operations or result in restructuring charges.

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Intellectual property infringement actions against us could be costly and time consuming to defend and may result in business harm if we are unsuccessful in our defense.
Third parties may assert, including by means of counterclaims against us as a result of the assertion of our intellectual property rights, that our products, services or technology, or the operation of our business, violate their intellectual property rights. We are currently subject to such assertions, including patent infringement claims, and may be subject to such assertions in the future. These assertions may also be made against our customers who may seek indemnification from us. In the ordinary course of business, we enter into agreements that contain indemnity obligations whereby we are required to indemnify our customers against these assertions arising from our customers’ usage of our products, services or technology. As the competition in our industry increases and the functionality of technology offerings further overlaps, these claims and counterclaims could become more common. We cannot be certain that we do not or will not infringe third parties’ intellectual property rights.
Legal proceedings involving intellectual property rights are highly uncertain, and can involve complex legal and scientific questions. Any intellectual property claim against us, regardless of its merit, could result in significant liabilities to our business, and can be expensive and time consuming to defend. Depending on the nature of such claims, our businesses may be disrupted, our management’s attention and other company resources may be diverted and we may be required to redesign, reengineer or rebrand our products and services, if feasible, to stop offering certain products and services or to enter into royalty or licensing agreements in order to obtain the rights to use necessary technologies, which may not be available on terms acceptable to us, if at all, and may result in a decrease of our competitive advantage. Our failure to prevail in such matters could result in loss of intellectual property rights, judgments awarding substantial damages, including possible treble damages and attorneys’ fees, and injunctive or other equitable relief against us. If we are held liable, we may be unable to exploit some or all of our intellectual property rights or technology. Even if we are not held liable, we may choose to settle claims by making a monetary payment or by granting a license to intellectual property rights that we otherwise would not license. Further, judgments may result in loss of reputation, may force us to take costly remediation actions, delay selling our products and offering our services, reduce features or functionality in our services or products, or cease such activities altogether. Insurance may not cover or be insufficient for any such claim.
We may not have sufficient insurance to cover our liability in pending litigation claims and future claims either due to coverage limits or as a result of insurance carriers seeking to deny coverage of such claims, which in either case could expose us to significant liabilities.
We maintain third-party insurance coverage against various liability risks, including securities, stockholders, derivative, ERISA, and product liability claims, as well as other claims that form the basis of litigation matters pending against us. We believe these insurance programs are an effective way to protect our assets against liability risks. However, the potential liabilities associated with litigation matters pending against us, or that could arise in the future, could exceed the coverage provided by such programs. In addition, our insurance carriers have in the past sought or may in the future seek to rescind or deny coverage with respect to pending claims or lawsuits, completed investigations or pending or future investigations and other legal actions against us. If we do not have sufficient coverage under our policies, or if the insurance companies are successful in rescinding or denying coverage, we may be required to make material payments in connection with third-party claims.
We may not be able to protect our intellectual property effectively, which may allow competitors to duplicate our products and services.
Our success and competitiveness depend, in part, upon our technologies and other intellectual property, including our brands. Among our significant assets are our proprietary and licensed software and other proprietary information and intellectual property rights. We rely on a combination of copyright, trademark and patent laws, laws protecting trade secrets, confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect these assets both in the United States and in foreign countries. The laws of some jurisdictions may provide less protection for our technologies and other intellectual property assets than the laws of the United States.
There is no certainty that our intellectual property rights will provide us with substantial protection or commercial benefit. Despite our efforts to protect our intellectual property, some of our innovations may not be protectable, and our intellectual property rights may offer insufficient protection from competition or unauthorized use, lapse or expire, be challenged, narrowed, invalidated, or misappropriated by third parties, or be deemed unenforceable or abandoned, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and the legal remedies available to us may not adequately compensate us. We cannot be certain that others will not independently develop, design around, or otherwise acquire equivalent or superior technology or intellectual property rights.
While we take reasonable steps to protect our brands and trademarks, we may not be successful in maintaining or defending our brands or preventing third parties from adopting similar brands. If our competitors infringe our principal trademarks, our brands may become diluted or if our competitors introduce brands or products that cause confusion with our brands or products in the marketplace, the value that our consumers associate with our brands may become diminished, which could negatively impact revenue.
Our patent applications may not be granted, and the patents we own could be challenged, invalidated, narrowed or circumvented by others and may not be of sufficient scope or strength to provide us with any meaningful protection or commercial advantage. Once our patents expire, or if they are invalidated, narrowed or circumvented, our competitors may be able to utilize the technology protected by our patents which may adversely affect our business.

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Although we rely on copyright laws to protect the works of authorship created by us, we do not generally register the copyrights in our copyrightable works where such registration is permitted. Copyrights of U.S. origin must be registered before the copyright owner may bring an infringement suit in the United States. Accordingly, if one of our unregistered copyrights of U.S. origin is infringed by a third party, we will need to register the copyright before we can file an infringement suit in the United States, and our remedies in any such infringement suit may be limited.
We use reasonable efforts to protect our trade secrets. However, protecting trade secrets can be difficult and our efforts may provide inadequate protection to prevent unauthorized use, misappropriation, or disclosure of our trade secrets, know how, or other proprietary information.
We also rely on our domain names to conduct our online businesses. While we use reasonable efforts to protect and maintain our domain names, if we fail to do so the domain names may become available to others. Further, the regulatory bodies that oversee domain name registration may change their regulations in a way that adversely affects our ability to register and use certain domain names.
We license software and other intellectual property from third parties. These licensors may breach or otherwise fail to perform their obligations, or claim that we have breached or otherwise attempt to terminate their license agreements with us. We also rely on license agreements to allow third parties to use our intellectual property rights, including our software, but there is no guarantee that our licensees will abide by the terms of our license agreements or that the terms of our agreements will always be enforceable.
In addition, policing unauthorized use of and enforcing intellectual property can be difficult and expensive. The fact that we have intellectual property rights, including registered intellectual property rights, may not guarantee success in our attempts to enforce these rights against third parties. Besides general litigation risks, changes in, or interpretations of, intellectual property laws may compromise our ability to enforce our rights. We may not be aware of infringement or misappropriation, or elect not to seek to prevent it. Our decisions may be based on a variety of factors, such as costs and benefits of taking action, and contextual business, legal, and other issues. Any inability to adequately protect our intellectual property on a cost-effective basis could harm our business.
Defects in our products may subject us to significant warranty liabilities or product liability claims and we may have insufficient product liability insurance to pay material uninsured claims.
Our business exposes us to the risk of product liability claims that are inherent in software development. We may inadvertently create defective software, or supply our customers with defective software or software components that we acquire from third parties, which could result in personal injury, property damage or other liabilities, and may result in warranty or product liability claims brought against us, our travel supplier customers or third parties.
Under our customer agreements, we generally must indemnify our customers for liability arising from intellectual property infringement claims with respect to our software. These indemnification obligations could be significant and we may not have adequate insurance coverage to protect us against all claims. The combination of our insurance coverage, cash flows and reserves may not be adequate to satisfy product liabilities we may incur in the future. Even meritless claims could subject us to adverse publicity, hinder us from securing insurance coverage in the future, require us to incur significant legal fees, decrease demand for any products that we successfully develop, divert management’s attention, and force us to limit or forgo further development and commercialization of these products. The cost of any product liability litigation or other proceedings, even if resolved in our favor, could be substantial.
We may have higher than anticipated tax liabilities.
We are subject to a variety of taxes in many jurisdictions globally, including income taxes in the United States at the federal, state and local levels, and in many other countries. Significant judgment is required in determining our worldwide provision for income taxes. In the ordinary course of our business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. We operate in numerous countries where our income tax returns are subject to audit and adjustment by local tax authorities. Because we operate globally, the nature of the uncertain tax positions is often very complex and subject to change, and the amounts at issue can be substantial. It is inherently difficult and subjective to estimate such amounts, as we have to determine the probability of various possible outcomes. We re-evaluate uncertain tax positions on a quarterly basis. This evaluation is based on factors including, but not limited to, changes in facts or circumstances, changes in tax law, effectively settled issues under audit and new audit activity. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the final determination of tax audits could be materially different from our historical income tax provisions and accruals. Our effective tax rate may change from year to year based on changes in the mix of activities and income allocated or earned among various jurisdictions, tax laws in these jurisdictions, tax treaties between countries, our eligibility for benefits under those tax treaties, and the estimated values of deferred tax assets and liabilities. Such changes could result in an increase in the effective tax rate applicable to all or a portion of our income which would reduce our profitability.

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We establish reserves for our potential liability for U.S. and non-U.S. taxes, including sales, occupancy and value-added taxes (“VAT”), consistent with applicable accounting principles and in light of all current facts and circumstances. We also establish reserves when required relating to the collection of refunds related to value-added taxes, which are subject to audit and collection risks in various countries. Historically our right to recover certain value-added tax receivables associated with our European businesses has been questioned by tax authorities. These reserves represent our best estimate of our contingent liability for taxes. The interpretation of tax laws and the determination of any potential liability under those laws are complex, and the amount of our liability may exceed our established reserves.
We consider the investment in our foreign subsidiaries as of December 31, 2017 to be indefinitely reinvested and, accordingly, no U.S. income taxes have been provided thereon.
New tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be enacted at any time and existing tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations and ordinances could be interpreted, changed, modified or applied adversely to us. These events could require us to pay additional tax amounts on a prospective or retroactive basis, as well as require us to pay fees, penalties or interest for past amounts deemed to be due. New, changed, modified or newly interpreted or applied laws could also increase our compliance, operating and other costs, as well as the costs of our products and services. For example, on December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”) was signed into law. The TCJA contains significant changes to the U.S. corporate income tax system, including a reduction of the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, a limitation of the tax deduction for interest expense to 30% of adjusted taxable income (as defined in the TCJA), base erosion provisions related to intercompany foreign payments and global low-taxed income, one-time taxation of offshore earnings at reduced rates in connection with the transition of U.S. international taxation from a worldwide tax system to a territorial tax system, elimination of U.S. tax on foreign earnings (subject to certain important exceptions), and modifying or repealing many business deductions and credits. We continue to evaluate the potential effects that the TCJA may have on our operations, cash flows and results of operations. Notwithstanding the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate, the future impact of the TCJA, including on our global operations, is uncertain, and our business and financial condition could be adversely affected. 
We may recognize impairments on long-lived assets, including goodwill and other intangible assets, or recognize impairments on our equity method investments.
Our consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2017 contained goodwill and intangible assets, net totaling $3.2 billion. Future acquisitions that result in the recognition of additional goodwill and intangible assets would cause an increase in these types of assets. We do not amortize goodwill and intangible assets that are determined to have indefinite useful lives, but we amortize definite-lived intangible assets on a straight-line basis over their useful economic lives, which range from four to thirty years, depending on classification.
We evaluate goodwill for impairment on an annual basis or earlier if impairment indicators exist and we evaluate definite-lived intangible assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of definite-lived intangible assets used in combination to generate cash flows largely independent of other assets may not be recoverable. We record an impairment charge whenever the estimated fair value of our reporting units or of such intangible assets is less than its carrying value.
The fair values used in our impairment evaluation are estimated using a combined approach based upon discounted future cash flow projections and observed market multiples for comparable businesses. Changes in estimates based on changes in risk-adjusted discount rates, future booking and transaction volume levels, future price levels, rates of growth in our consumer and corporate direct booking businesses, rates of increase in operating expenses, cost of revenue and taxes could result in material impairment charges.
Our pension plan obligations are currently unfunded, and we may have to make significant cash contributions to our plans, which could reduce the cash available for our business.
Our pension plans in the aggregate are estimated to be unfunded by $112 million as of December 31, 2017. With approximately 5,000 participants in our pension plans, we incur substantial costs relating to pension benefits, which can vary substantially as a result of changes in healthcare laws and costs, volatility in investment returns on pension plan assets and changes in discount rates used to calculate related liabilities. Our estimates of liabilities and expenses for pensions and other post-retirement healthcare benefits require the use of assumptions, including assumptions relating to the rate used to discount the future estimated liability, the rate of return on plan assets, inflation and several assumptions relating to the employee workforce (medical costs, retirement age and mortality). Actual results may differ, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition or results of operations. Future volatility and disruption in the stock markets could cause a decline in the asset values of our pension plans. In addition, a decrease in the discount rate used to determine minimum funding requirements could result in increased future contributions. If either occurs, we may need to make additional pension contributions above what is currently estimated, which could reduce the cash available for our businesses.

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We may require more cash than we generate in our operating activities, and additional funding on reasonable terms or at all may not be available.
We cannot guarantee that our business will generate sufficient cash flow from operations to fund our capital investment requirements or other liquidity needs. Moreover, because we are a holding company with no material direct operations, we depend on loans, dividends and other payments from our subsidiaries to generate the funds necessary to meet our financial obligations. Our subsidiaries are legally distinct from us and may be prohibited or restricted from paying dividends or otherwise making funds available to us under certain conditions.
As a result, we may be required to finance our cash needs through bank loans, additional debt financing, public or private equity offerings or otherwise. Our ability to arrange financing and the cost of such financing are dependent on numerous factors, including but not limited to general economic and capital market conditions, the availability of credit from banks or other lenders, investor confidence in us, and our results of operations.
There can be no assurance that financing will be available on terms favorable to us or at all, which could force us to delay, reduce or abandon our growth strategy, increase our financing costs, or both. Additional funding from debt financings may make it more difficult for us to operate our business because a portion of our cash generated from internal operations would be used to make principal and interest payments on the indebtedness and we may be obligated to abide by restrictive covenants contained in the debt financing agreements, which may, among other things, limit our ability to make business decisions and further limit our ability to pay dividends.
In addition, any downgrade of our debt ratings by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investor Service or similar ratings agencies, increases in general interest rate levels and credit spreads or overall weakening in the credit markets could increase our cost of capital. Furthermore, raising capital through public or private sales of equity to finance acquisitions or expansion could cause earnings or ownership dilution to your shareholding interests in our company.
We have a significant amount of indebtedness, which could adversely affect our cash flow and our ability to operate our business and to fulfill our obligations under our indebtedness.
We have a significant amount of indebtedness. As of December 31, 2017, we had $3.5 billion of indebtedness outstanding in addition to $379 million of availability under our Revolver, after taking into account the availability reduction of $21 million for letters of credit issued under our Revolver. Our substantial level of indebtedness increases the possibility that we may not generate enough cash flow from operations to pay, when due, the principal of, interest on or other amounts due in respect of, these obligations. Other risks relating to our long-term indebtedness include:
increased vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;
higher interest expense if interest rates increase on our floating rate borrowings and our hedging strategies do not effectively mitigate the effects of these increases;
need to divert a significant portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of cash to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, investments and other general corporate purposes;
limited ability to obtain additional financing, on terms we find acceptable, if needed, for working capital, capital expenditures, expansion plans and other investments, which may adversely affect our ability to implement our business strategy;
limited flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our businesses and the markets in which we operate or to take advantage of market opportunities; and
a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less debt.
In addition, it is possible that we may need to incur additional indebtedness in the future in the ordinary course of business. The terms of our Amended and Restated Credit Agreement and the indentures governing our senior secured notes due in 2023 allow us to incur additional debt subject to certain limitations. If new debt is added to current debt levels, the risks described above could intensify. In addition, our inability to maintain certain leverage ratios could result in acceleration of a portion of our debt obligations and could cause us to be in default if we are unable to repay the accelerated obligations.
We are exposed to interest rate fluctuations.
Our floating rate indebtedness exposes us to fluctuations in prevailing interest rates. To reduce the impact of large fluctuations in interest rates, we typically hedge a portion of our interest rate risk by entering into derivative agreements with financial institutions. Our exposure to interest rates relates primarily to our borrowings under the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement.
The derivative agreements that we use to manage the risk associated with fluctuations in interest rates may not be able to eliminate the exposure to these changes. Interest rates are sensitive to numerous factors outside of our control, such as government and central bank monetary policy in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Depending on the size of the exposures and the relative movements of interest rates, if we choose not to hedge or fail to effectively hedge our exposure, we could experience a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

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We are exposed to exchange rate fluctuations.
We conduct various operations outside the United States, primarily in APAC, Europe and Latin America. During the year ended December 31, 2017, foreign currency operations included $256 million of revenue and $595 million of operating expenses, representing approximately 7% and 20% of our total revenue and operating expenses, respectively. During the year ended December 31, 2016, foreign currency operations included $211 million of revenue and $666 million of operating expenses, representing approximately 6% and 23% of our total revenue and operating expenses, respectively. Our most significant foreign currency operating expenses are in the Euro, representing approximately 8% and 7% of our operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. As a result, we face exposure to movements in currency exchange rates. These exposures include but are not limited to:
re-measurement gains and losses from changes in the value of foreign denominated assets and liabilities;
translation gains and losses on foreign subsidiary financial results that are translated into U.S. dollars, our functional currency, upon consolidation;
planning risk related to changes in exchange rates between the time we prepare our annual and quarterly forecasts and when actual results occur; and
the impact of relative exchange rate movements on cross-border travel, principally travel between Europe and the United States.
Depending on the size of the exposures and the relative movements of exchange rates, if we choose not to hedge or fail to hedge effectively our exposure, we could experience a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. As we have seen in prior periods, in the event of severe volatility in exchange rates, these exposures can increase, and the impact on our results of operations and financial condition can be more pronounced. In addition, the current environment and the increasingly global nature of our business have made hedging these exposures more complex and costly.
To reduce the impact of this earnings volatility, we hedge our foreign currency exposure by entering into foreign currency forward contracts on several of our largest foreign currency exposures, including the Singaporean Dollar, the British Pound Sterling, the Polish Zloty, the Australian Dollar, the Indian Rupee, the Brazilian Real, and the Swedish Krona. Although we have increased and may continue to increase the scope, complexity and duration of our foreign exchange risk management strategy, our current or future hedging activities may not sufficiently protect us from the adverse effects of currency exchange rate movements. Moreover, we make a number of estimates in conducting hedging activities, including in some cases the level of future bookings, cancellations, refunds, customer stay patterns and payments in foreign currencies. In the event those estimates differ significantly from actual results, we could experience greater volatility as a result of our hedging activities.
The terms of our debt covenants could limit our discretion in operating our business and any failure to comply with such covenants could result in the default of all of our debt.
The agreements governing our indebtedness contain and the agreements governing our future indebtedness will likely contain various covenants, including those that restrict our or our subsidiaries’ ability to, among other things:
incur liens on our property, assets and revenue;
borrow money, and guarantee or provide other support for the indebtedness of third parties;
pay dividends or make other distributions on, redeem or repurchase our capital stock;
prepay, redeem or repurchase certain of our indebtedness;
enter into certain change of control transactions;
make investments in entities that we do not control, including joint ventures;
enter into certain asset sale transactions, including divestiture of certain company assets and divestiture of capital stock of wholly-owned subsidiaries;
enter into certain transactions with affiliates;
enter into secured financing arrangements;
enter into sale and leaseback transactions;
change our fiscal year; and
enter into substantially different lines of business.
These covenants may limit our ability to effectively operate our businesses or maximize stockholder value. In addition, our Amended and Restated Credit Agreement requires that we meet certain financial tests, including the maintenance of a leverage ratio and a minimum net worth. Our ability to satisfy these tests may be affected by factors and events beyond our control, and we may be unable to meet such tests in the future.
Any failure to comply with the restrictions of our Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, the indentures governing our senior secured notes due 2023 or any agreement governing our other indebtedness may result in an event of default under those agreements. Such default may allow the creditors to accelerate the related debt, which may trigger cross-acceleration or cross-default provisions in other debt. In addition, lenders may be able to terminate any commitments they had made to supply us with further funds.

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We are updating our enterprise resource planning system, and problems with the design or implementation of this system could interfere with our business and operations.
We are continuing to implement a project to consolidate our business technology infrastructure to a single global ERP system. We expect to invest capital and human resources in the design and implementation of the ERP system, which may be disruptive to our underlying business. Any disruptions, delays or deficiencies in the design and implementation of the ERP system, particularly ones that impact our financial reporting and accounting systems, could adversely affect our business. Even if we do not encounter these adverse effects, the design and implementation of the ERP system may be more costly than we anticipate, which could negatively impact our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, the ERP system will be outsourced to a third-party provider, and any disruption to those outsourced systems may negatively impact our business. See “-We rely on the availability and performance of information technology services provided by third parties, including DXC, which manages a significant portion of our systems.”
Maintaining and improving our financial controls and the requirements of being a public company may strain our resources, divert management’s attention and affect our ability to attract and retain qualified board members.
As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”), the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) and The NASDAQ Stock Market (“NASDAQ”) rules. The requirements of these rules and regulations have increased and will continue to significantly increase our legal and financial compliance costs, including costs associated with the hiring of additional personnel, making some activities more difficult, time-consuming or costly, and may also place undue strain on our personnel, systems and resources. The Exchange Act requires, among other things, that we file annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and financial condition.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. Ensuring that we have adequate internal financial and accounting controls and procedures in place, as well as maintaining these controls and procedures, is a costly and time-consuming effort that needs to be re-evaluated frequently. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“Section 404”) requires that we annually evaluate our internal control over financial reporting to enable management to report on, and our independent auditors to audit as of the end of each fiscal year the effectiveness of those controls. In connection with the Section 404 requirements, both we and our independent registered public accounting firm test our internal controls and could, as part of that documentation and testing, identify material weaknesses, significant deficiencies or other areas for further attention or improvement.
Implementing any appropriate changes to our internal controls may require specific compliance training for our directors, officers and employees, require the hiring of additional finance, accounting and other personnel, entail substantial costs to modify our existing accounting systems, and take a significant period of time to complete. These changes may not, however, be effective in maintaining the adequacy of our internal controls, and any failure to maintain that adequacy, or consequent inability to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis, could increase our operating costs and could materially impair our ability to operate our business. Moreover, adequate internal controls are necessary for us to produce reliable financial reports and are important to help prevent fraud. As a result, our failure to satisfy the requirements of Section 404 on a timely basis could result in the loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our financial statements, which in turn could cause the market value of our common stock to decline.
Various rules and regulations applicable to public companies make it more difficult and more expensive for us to maintain directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to maintain coverage. If we are unable to maintain adequate directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, our ability to recruit and retain qualified officers and directors, especially those directors who may be deemed independent for purposes of the NASDAQ rules, will be significantly curtailed.
Concentration of ownership among our Principal Stockholders may prevent new investors from influencing significant corporate decisions and may result in conflicts of interest.
As of January 31, 2018, the Principal Stockholders (as defined below) own, in the aggregate, approximately 25% of our outstanding common stock and, consequently, have significant influence over us.

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We are a party to an amended and restated Stockholders’ Agreement (as further amended and restated, the “Stockholders’ Agreement”) with the Silver Lake Funds, the TPG Funds and the Sovereign Co-Invest II (each as defined below). Pursuant to the Stockholders’ Agreement, each of the Silver Lake Funds and the TPG Funds currently has the right to designate for nomination two directors. In addition, the Silver Lake Funds and the TPG Funds also jointly have the right to designate one additional director who must qualify as independent under the NASDAQ rules and must meet the independence requirements of Rule 10A-3 of the Exchange Act so long as they collectively own at least 10% of their collective Closing Date Shares (as defined in the Stockholders’ Agreement). As a result, the Principal Stockholders are able to exercise significant influence over all matters requiring stockholder approval, including: the election of directors; approval of mergers or a sale of all or substantially all of our assets and other significant corporate transactions; and the amendment of our Certificate of Incorporation and our Bylaws. This concentration of influence may delay, deter or prevent acts that would be favored by our other stockholders, who may have interests different from those of our Principal Stockholders. In addition, this significant concentration of share ownership may adversely affect the trading price of our common stock because investors often perceive disadvantages in owning common stock in companies with Principal Stockholders.
“TPG” refers to TPG Global, LLC and its affiliates, the “TPG Funds” refer to one or more of TPG Partners IV, L.P. (“TPG Partners IV”), TPG Partners V, L.P. (“TPG Partners V”), TPG FOF V-A, L.P. (“TPG FOF V-A”) and TPG FOF V-B, L.P. (“TPG FOF V-B”), “Silver Lake” refers to Silver Lake Management Company, L.L.C. and its affiliates and “Silver Lake Funds” refer to either or both of Silver Lake Partners II, L.P. and Silver Lake Technology Investors II, L.P. “Sovereign Co-Invest II” refers to Sovereign Co-Invest II, LLC, an entity co-managed by TPG and Silver Lake. “Principal Stockholders” refer to the TPG Funds, the Silver Lake Funds and Sovereign Co-Invest II.
The market price of our common stock could decline due to the large number of outstanding shares of our common stock eligible for future sale.
Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market in future offerings, or the perception that these sales could occur, could cause the market price of our common stock to decline. These sales could also make it more difficult for us to sell equity or equity-related securities in the future, at a time and price that we deem appropriate. In addition, the additional sale of our common stock by our officers, directors and Principal Stockholders in the public market, or the perception that these sales may occur, could cause the market price of our common stock to decline.
We may issue shares of our common stock or other securities from time to time as consideration for, or to finance, future acquisitions and investments or for other capital needs. We cannot predict the size of future issuances of our shares or the effect, if any, that future sales and issuances of shares would have on the market price of our common stock. If any such acquisition or investment is significant, the number of shares of common stock or the number or aggregate principal amount, as the case may be, of other securities that we may issue may in turn be substantial and may result in additional dilution to our stockholders. We may also grant registration rights covering shares of our common stock or other securities that we may issue in connection with any such acquisitions and investments.
To the extent that any of us, our executive officers, directors or the Principal Stockholders sell, or indicate an intent to sell, substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market, the trading price of our common stock could decline significantly.
Our ability to pay regular dividends to our stockholders is subject to the discretion of our board of directors and may be limited by our holding company structure and applicable provisions of Delaware law.
We intend to continue to pay quarterly cash dividends on our common stock. However, our board of directors may, in its sole discretion, change the amount or frequency of dividends or discontinue the payment of dividends entirely. In addition, because we are a holding company with no material direct operations, we are dependent on loans, dividends and other payments from our operating subsidiaries to generate the funds necessary to pay dividends on our common stock. We expect to cause our subsidiaries to make distributions to us in an amount sufficient for us to pay dividends. However, their ability to make such distributions will be subject to their operating results, cash requirements and financial condition, the applicable provisions of Delaware law that may limit the amount of funds available for distribution and our ability to pay cash dividends, compliance with covenants and financial ratios related to existing or future indebtedness, including under our Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, our senior secured notes due in 2023, and other agreements with third parties. In addition, each of the companies in our corporate chain must manage its assets, liabilities and working capital in order to meet all of its cash obligations, including the payment of dividends or distributions. As a consequence of these various limitations and restrictions, we may not be able to make, or may have to reduce or eliminate, the payment of dividends on our common stock. Any change in the level of our dividends or the suspension of the payment thereof could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
ITEM 1B.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
Not applicable.

22



ITEM 2.
PROPERTIES
As a company with global operations, we operate in many countries with a variety of sales, administrative, product development and customer service roles provided in these offices.
Americas: Our corporate and business unit headquarters and domestic operations are located in a property which we own in Southlake, Texas, and in two leased offices located in Westlake, Texas. The Westlake leases expire in 2026 and include early termination options in 2022. There are 13 additional offices across North America and 11 offices across Latin America that serve in various sales, administration, software development and customer service capacities for all our business segments. All of these additional offices are leased.
Europe: Travel Network has its European regional headquarters in London, United Kingdom, with a lease that expires in 2027 and includes an early termination option in 2022. There are 24 additional offices across Europe that serve in various sales, administration, software development and customer service capacities. All of these additional offices are leased.
APAC: Travel Network and Airline and Hospitality Solutions have their APAC regional operations headquarters in four offices located in Singapore, with three leases that expire in 2019 and one lease that expires in 2022, with an early termination option in 2019. There are 38 additional offices across APAC that serve in various sales, administration, software development and customer service capacities. 37 of these additional offices are leased and one property in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is owned.
ITEM 3.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
While certain legal proceedings and related indemnification obligations to which we are a party specify the amounts claimed, these claims may not represent reasonably possible losses. Given the inherent uncertainties of litigation, the ultimate outcome of these matters cannot be predicted at this time, nor can the amount of possible loss or range of loss, if any, be reasonably estimated, except in circumstances where an aggregate litigation accrual has been recorded for probable and reasonably estimable loss contingencies. A determination of the amount of accrual required, if any, for these contingencies is made after careful analysis of each matter. The required accrual may change in the future due to new information or developments in each matter or changes in approach such as a change in settlement strategy in dealing with these matters.    See “Risk Factors—"We are involved in various legal proceedings which may cause us to incur significant fees, costs and expenses and may result in unfavorable outcomes.
Antitrust Litigation and DOJ Investigation
US Airways Antitrust Litigation
In April 2011, US Airways filed suit against us in federal court in the Southern District of New York, alleging violations of the Sherman Act Section 1 (anticompetitive agreements) and Section 2 (monopolization). The complaint was filed fewer than two months after we entered into a new distribution agreement with US Airways. In September 2011, the court dismissed all claims relating to Section 2. The claims that were not dismissed are claims brought under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, relating to our contracts with US Airways, which US Airways claims contain anticompetitive provisions, and an alleged conspiracy with the other GDSs, allegedly to maintain the industry structure and not to compete for content. We strongly deny all of the allegations made by US Airways.
Sabre filed summary judgment motions in April 2014. In January 2015, the court issued an order granting Sabre's summary judgment motions in part, eliminating a majority of US Airways' alleged damages and rejecting its request for injunctive relief by which US Airways sought to bar Sabre from enforcing certain provisions in our contracts. In September 2015, the court also dismissed US Airways' claim for declaratory relief. In February 2017, US Airways sought reconsideration of the court's opinion dismissing the claim for declaratory relief, which the court denied in March 2017.
The trial on the remaining claims commenced in October 2016. In December 2016, the jury issued a verdict in favor of US Airways with respect to its claim under Section 1 of the Sherman Act regarding Sabre's contract with US Airways and awarded it$5 million in single damages. The jury rejected US Airways' claim alleging a conspiracy with the other GDSs. We continue to believe that our business practices and contract terms are lawful. In January 2017, we filed a motion seeking judgment as a matter of law in favor of Sabre on the one claim on which the jury found for US Airways, which the court denied in March 2017.
Based on the jury’s verdict, in March 2017 the court entered final judgment in favor of US Airways in the amount of $15 million, which is three times the jury’s award of $5 million as required by the Sherman Act.
In April 2017, we filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit seeking a reversal of the judgment. US Airways also filed a counter-appeal challenging earlier court orders, including the above-referenced orders dismissing and/or issuing summary judgment as to portions of its claims and damages. In connection with this appeal, we posted an appellate bond equal to the aggregate amount of the $15 million judgment entered plus interest, which stayed the judgment pending the appeal.

23



As a result of the jury's verdict, US Airways is also entitled to receive reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs under the Sherman Act. As such, it filed a motion seeking approximately $125 million in attorneys’ fees and costs, the amount of which we strongly dispute. In January 2018, the court denied US Airways' motion seeking attorneys' fees and costs, based on the fact that the appeal of the underlying judgment remains pending, as discussed above. The court's denial of the motion was without prejudice, and US Airways may refile the motion if it prevails on the appeal.
We have accrued a loss of $32 million, which represents the court's final judgment of $15 million, plus our estimate of $17 million for US Airways' reasonable attorneys’ fees, expenses and costs. We are unable to estimate the exact amount of the loss associated with the verdict, but we estimate that there is a range of outcomes between $32 million and $65 million, inclusive of the trebled damage award of approximately $15 million. No amount within the range is considered a better estimate than any other amount within the range and therefore, the minimum within the range was recorded in selling, general and administrative expense for the fourth quarter of 2016. As noted above, the amount of attorneys' fees and costs to be awarded is subject to conclusion of the appellate process and, if US Airways ultimately prevails on the appeal, final decision by the trial court, which may itself be appealed. The ultimate resolution of this matter may be greater or less than the amount recorded and, if greater, could adversely affect our results of operations. We have and will incur significant fees, costs and expenses for as long as the lawsuit, including any appeal, is ongoing. In addition, litigation by its nature is highly uncertain and fraught with risk, and it is therefore difficult to predict the outcome of any particular matter, including any appeal or changes to our business that may be required as a result of the litigation. Depending on the outcome of the litigation, any of these consequences could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Putative Class Action Lawsuit on Antitrust Claims
In July 2015, a putative class action lawsuit was filed against us and two other GDSs, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs, who are asserting claims on behalf of a putative class of consumers in various states, are generally alleging that the GDSs conspired to negotiate for full content from the airlines, resulting in higher ticket prices for consumers, in violation of various federal and state laws. The plaintiffs sought an unspecified amount of damages in connection with their state law claims, and they requested injunctive relief in connection with their federal claim. In July 2016, the court granted, in part, our motion to dismiss the lawsuit, finding that plaintiffs’ state law claims are preempted by federal law, thereby precluding their claims for damages. The court declined to dismiss plaintiffs’ claim seeking an injunction under federal antitrust law. The plaintiffs may appeal the court’s dismissal of their state law claims upon a final judgment. We believe that the losses associated with this case are neither probable nor estimable and therefore have not accrued any losses as of December 31, 2017. We may incur significant fees, costs and expenses for as long as this litigation is ongoing. We intend to vigorously defend against the remaining claims.
Putative Class Action Lawsuit on Cybersecurity Incident
In July 2017, a putative class action lawsuit was filed against us in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs are asserting various claims under state law, including tort, contract and statutory claims, on behalf of a putative class of individuals residing in the United States and whose personally identifiable information allegedly was disclosed, in connection with the cybersecurity incident involving unauthorized access to payment information contained in a subset of hotel reservations process through the HS Central Reservation System. The plaintiffs are seeking equitable relief and an unspecified amount of damages in connection with their claims. In December 2017, we filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice. On January 25, 2018, the court granted our motion and dismissed the plaintiffs' claims in their entirety, with prejudice. The plaintiffs may appeal the court's decision, but must file the appeal within 30 days of the ruling. We believe that the losses associated with this case are neither probable nor estimable and therefore have not accrued any losses as of December 31, 2017. We may incur significant fees, costs and expenses for as long as this litigation is ongoing. We intend to vigorously defend against this matter. See Note 15. Commitments and Contingencies—Other, to our consolidated financial statements for additional information.
Department of Justice Investigation
On May 19, 2011, we received a civil investigative demand (“CID”) from the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) investigating alleged anticompetitive acts related to the airline distribution component of our business. We are fully cooperating with the DOJ investigation and are unable to make any prediction regarding its outcome. The DOJ is also investigating other companies that own GDSs, and has sent CIDs to other companies in the travel industry. Based on its findings in the investigation, the DOJ may (i) close the file, (ii) seek a consent decree to remedy issues it believes violate the antitrust laws, or (iii) file suit against us for violating the antitrust laws, seeking injunctive relief. If injunctive relief were granted, depending on its scope, it could affect the manner in which our airline distribution business is operated and potentially force changes to the existing airline distribution business model. Any of these consequences would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We have not received any communications from the DOJ regarding this matter for several years; however, we have not been notified that this matter is closed.

24



Indian Income Tax Litigation
We are currently a defendant in income tax litigation brought by the Indian Director of Income Tax (“DIT”) in the Supreme Court of India. The dispute arose in 1999 when the DIT asserted that we have a permanent establishment within the meaning of the Income Tax Treaty between the United States and the Republic of India and accordingly issued tax assessments for assessment years ending March 1998 and March 1999, and later issued further tax assessments for assessment years ending March 2000 through March 2006. The DIT has continued to issue further tax assessments on a similar basis for subsequent years; however, the tax assessments for assessment years ending March 2007 and later are no longer material. We appealed the tax assessments for assessment years ending March 1998 through March 2006 and the Indian Commissioner of Income Tax Appeals returned a mixed verdict. We filed further appeals with the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (“ITAT”). The ITAT ruled in our favor on June 19, 2009 and July 10, 2009, stating that no income would be chargeable to tax for assessment years ending March 1998 and March 1999, and from March 2000 through March 2006. The DIT appealed those decisions to the Delhi High Court, which found in our favor on July 19, 2010. The DIT has appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of India. The initial Supreme Court hearing has now been scheduled. We have appealed the tax assessments for the assessment years ended March 2013 and March 2015 with the ITAT and no trial date has been set for these subsequent years.
In addition, SAPPL is currently a defendant in similar income tax litigation brought by the DIT. The dispute arose when the DIT asserted that SAPPL has a permanent establishment within the meaning of the Income Tax Treaty between Singapore and India and accordingly issued tax assessments for assessment years ending March 2000 through March 2005. SAPPL appealed the tax assessments, and the Indian Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) returned a mixed verdict. SAPPL filed further appeals with the ITAT. The ITAT ruled in SAPPL’s favor, finding that no income would be chargeable to tax for assessment years ending March 2000 through March 2005. The DIT appealed those decisions to the Delhi High Court. No hearing date has been set. The DIT also assessed taxes on a similar basis for assessment years ending March 2006 through March 2014 and appeals for assessment years ending March 2006 through 2014 are pending before the ITAT.
If the DIT were to fully prevail on every claim against us, including SAPPL, we could be subject to taxes, interest and penalties of approximately $47 million as of December 31, 2017. We intend to continue to aggressively defend against each of the foregoing claims. Although we do not believe that the outcome of the proceedings will result in a material impact on our business or financial condition, litigation is by its nature uncertain. We do not believe this outcome is more likely than not and therefore have not made any provisions or recorded any liability for the potential resolution of any of these claims.
Indian Service Tax Litigation
SAPPL's Indian subsidiary is also subject to litigation by the India Director General (Service Tax) ("DGST"), which has assessed the subsidiary for multiple years related to its alleged failure to pay service tax on marketing fees and reimbursements of expenses. Indian courts have returned verdicts favorable to the Indian subsidiary. The DGST has appealed the verdict to the Indian Supreme Court. We do not believe that an adverse outcome is probable and therefore have not made any provisions or recorded any liability for the potential resolution of any of these claims.
Litigation and Administrative Audit Proceedings Relating to Hotel Occupancy Taxes
On January 23, 2015, we sold Travelocity.com to Expedia. Pursuant to the Travelocity Purchase Agreement, we will continue to be liable for pre-closing liabilities of Travelocity, including fees, charges, costs and settlements relating to litigation arising from hotels booked on the Travelocity platform prior to our previous long-term strategic marketing agreement with Expedia (the “Expedia SMA”). Fees, charges, costs and settlements relating to litigation from hotels booked on Travelocity.com subsequent to the Expedia SMA and prior to the date of the sale of Travelocity.com will be shared with Expedia in accordance with the terms set forth in the Expedia SMA. We are jointly and severally liable for certain indemnification obligations under the Travelocity Purchase Agreement for liabilities that may arise out of these litigation matters, which could adversely affect our cash flow.
Beginning in 2004, various state and local governments in the United States have filed more than 80 lawsuits against us and other OTAs pertaining primarily to whether our discontinued Travelocity segment and other OTAs owe sales or occupancy taxes on the revenues they earned from facilitating hotel reservations, where the customer paid us an amount at the time of booking that included (i) service fees, which we collected and retained, and (ii) the price of the hotel room and amounts for occupancy or other local taxes, which we passed along to the hotel supplier. The complaints generally allege, among other things, that the defendants failed to pay to the relevant taxing authority hotel occupancy taxes on the service fees. Several lawsuits also allege that the OTAs owe state or local taxes on their fees for facilitating car rental reservations. Courts have dismissed many of these lawsuits, some for failure to exhaust administrative remedies and some on the basis that we are not subject to sales or occupancy tax. The remaining lawsuits are in various stages of litigation. We have also settled some cases individually, most for amounts not material to our results of operations, and with respect to these settlements, have generally reserved our rights to challenge any effort by the applicable tax authority to impose occupancy taxes in the future.

25



Although we have prevailed in the majority of these lawsuits and proceedings, there have been several adverse judgments or decisions on the merits, some of which are subject to appeal. As of December 31, 2017 and 2016, our reserve was not material for the potential resolution of issues identified related to litigation involving hotel and car sales, occupancy or excise taxes. We did not record material charges associated with these cases during the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016. Because we do not have a material reserve for these matters, and we have not recorded any material charges during the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, we did not consider these matters to be material as of December 31, 2017. Our estimated liability is based on our current best estimate but the ultimate resolution of these issues may be greater or less than the amount recorded and, if greater, could adversely affect our results of operations.
In addition to the actions by the tax authorities, two consumer class action lawsuits have been filed against us in which the plaintiffs allege that we made misrepresentations concerning the description of the fees received in relation to facilitating hotel reservations. Generally, the consumer claims relate to whether Travelocity provided adequate notice to consumers regarding the nature of our fees and the amount of taxes charged or collected. One of these lawsuits is pending in Texas state court, where the court is currently considering the plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class action; and the other is pending in federal court, but has been stayed pending the outcome of the Texas state court action. We believe the notice we provided was appropriate and therefore have not accrued any losses related to these cases.
Furthermore, a number of state and local governments have initiated inquiries, audits and other administrative proceedings that could result in an assessment of sales or occupancy taxes on fees. If we do not prevail at the administrative level, those cases could lead to formal litigation proceedings.
Litigation Relating to Routine Proceedings
We are also engaged from time to time in other routine legal and tax proceedings incidental to our business. We do not believe that any of these routine proceedings will have a material impact on the business or our financial condition.

ITEM 4.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.

26



EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT
The names and ages of our executive officers as of February 16, 2018, together with certain biographical information, are as follows:
Name
 
Age
 
Position
Sean Menke
 
49
 
Chief Executive Officer, President and Director, Sabre
Richard A. Simonson
 
59
 
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Sabre
Clinton Anderson
 
47
 
Executive Vice President, Sabre and President, Hospitality Solutions
Rachel A. Gonzalez
 
48
 
Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Sabre
Wade Jones
 
51
 
Executive Vice President, Sabre and President, Travel Network
David Shirk
 
51
 
Executive Vice President, Sabre and President, Sabre Airline Solutions
Sean Menke was elected president and CEO effective December 31, 2016. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president and president of Travel Network. Before joining Sabre in October 2015, Mr. Menke served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hawaiian Airlines from October 2014 to October 2015. From 2013 to 2014, he was executive vice president of resources at IHS Inc., a global information technology company. He served as managing partner of Vista Strategic Group, LLC, a consulting firm, from 2012 to 2013 and from 2010 to 2011. From 2011 to 2012, he served as president and chief executive officer of Pinnacle Airlines, and from 2007 to 2010 as president and chief executive officer of Frontier Airlines. Frontier Airlines and Pinnacle Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Mr. Menke earned an executive MBA from the University of Denver and dual bachelor of science degrees in Economics and Aviation Management from Ohio State University.
Richard A. Simonson is executive vice president and chief financial officer. He leads our global finance organization and is responsible for the following functions - accounting, tax, financial planning and analysis, investor relations, treasury, procurement, corporate development and mergers and acquisitions. He brings a combination of experiences across global finance, business operations and capital markets focused on the technology, telecom and media sectors. Before joining Sabre in March 2013, Mr. Simonson acted as an independent advisor to private equity and venture capital firms from May 2012 to March 2013 and from July 2010 to May 2011. He served as CFO and president for business operations at Rearden Commerce, a venture-backed e-commerce company from March 2011 to May 2012. From September 2001 to July 2010 he was an executive at Nokia Corporation in several global roles based in locations around the world - Helsinki, Zurich and New York - including more than five years as chief financial officer and executive vice president, followed by executive vice president and general manager of Nokia’s mobile phones unit and head of strategic sourcing. He was a member of Nokia’s Group Executive Board from 2004-2010. Mr. Simonson’s career includes time with Barclays Capital as managing director in the telecom and media investment banking group. He also spent 16 years with Bank of America Securities in the Global Corporate and Investment Banking group based out of San Francisco and Chicago, where he held various finance and investment banking positions, culminating as managing director of Global Project Finance. Mr. Simonson currently serves on the board of directors of Electronic Arts where he currently chairs the audit committee and additionally served as lead director from 2009-2015. He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in mining engineering and holds an M.B.A. from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Simonson is a trustee of the board of The Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University.
Clinton Anderson is executive vice president of Sabre and president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions. He joined Sabre in 2014 as the senior vice president of strategy and business development. In this role, Mr. Anderson was responsible for identifying and evaluating growth opportunities, as well as leading the corporate strategy team. Prior to joining Sabre, from 2012 to 2014, Mr. Anderson was with Emerson/Anderson, a private investment firm focused on small cap businesses, which he co-founded. From 1994 to 2012, he was a consultant at Bain and Company where he was a partner and served as a leader of consumer products and performance improvement practices. Mr. Anderson holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Business Administration from the University of Alberta.
Rachel A. Gonzalez is executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Sabre, a position she assumed in May 2017. In this role, she leads a global team responsible for human resources, corporate communications, legal strategy, regulatory affairs, corporate compliance, and government affairs. She previously served as executive vice president and general counsel from September 2014 to May 2017. Prior to joining Sabre, Ms. Gonzalez served as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary with Dean Foods in Dallas, Texas from March 2013 to September 2014, and as executive vice president, general counsel designate from November 2012 to March 2013. Ms. Gonzalez joined Dean Foods in 2008 as chief counsel, corporate and securities and served as the deputy general counsel prior to her promotion in November 2012. Previously, Ms. Gonzalez was senior vice president and group counsel with Affiliated Computer Services. Ms. Gonzalez was a partner with the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where she focused on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, SEC compliance and corporate governance. Ms. Gonzalez serves on the Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas and their Executive, Finance and Board Development Committees; she also serves as its Treasurer. Ms. Gonzalez is also a member of the board of directors of Dana Incorporated. Ms. Gonzalez earned her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and her bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley.


27



Wade Jones is executive vice president of Sabre and president of Travel Network. He joined Sabre in 2015 in the product, marketing and strategy role for Travel Network globally. From April of 2012 to September of 2014 he was senior vice president and general manager of Deem’s syndicated commerce business. From 2011 to 2012, Mr. Jones served as a founder and chief executive officer of Haystack Ventures, LLC, which filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in 2012. Prior to joining Sabre, Mr. Jones spent more than 10 years with Barclaycard, leading the company’s U.K partnership business that provides, co-branded credit card, and loyalty programs for other companies across the travel, retail, financial services, and other industries. He received his master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his undergraduate degree from Texas Christian University.
David Shirk is executive vice president of Sabre and president of Sabre Airline Solutions. Prior to joining Sabre in June 2017, Mr. Shirk served as president at Kony, Inc., an industry leader in mobile application development platforms and cross industry digital transformation solutions, from April 2014 to May 2017. From September 2012 to January 2014, he served as general manager and vice president at Computer Services Corp. (CSC), where he led the company’s software, services, and business process outsourcing division. Prior to joining CSC, Mr. Shirk was senior vice president of industry solutions and chief marketing officer for the Enterprise Business division of HP.  He has also held senior executive positions at Siemens, UGS, Vignette, Novell and Oracle.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from The Ohio State University.




28



PART II
ITEM 5.
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Our common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SABR.” The following table sets forth, for the quarterly period indicated, the high and low market prices per share for our common stock, as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market:
 
 High
 
 Low
 
Dividends
Declared
Year Ended December 31, 2017:
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
$
20.79

 
$
18.00

 
$
0.14

Third Quarter
$
22.28

 
$
17.40

 
$
0.14

Second Quarter
$
24.73

 
$
20.50

 
$
0.14

First Quarter
$
25.14

 
$
20.91

 
$
0.14

Year Ended December 31, 2016:
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
$
27.99

 
$
23.18

 
$
0.13

Third Quarter
$
29.34

 
$
26.63

 
$
0.13

Second Quarter
$
29.35

 
$
25.30

 
$
0.13

First Quarter
$
28.92

 
$
23.18

 
$
0.13

As of February 12, 2018, there were 130 stockholders of record of our common stock.
We expect to continue to pay quarterly cash dividends on our common stock, subject to declaration of our board of directors. The amount of future cash dividends, if any, will depend upon, among other things, our future operations and earnings, capital requirements and surplus, general financial condition, contractual restrictions, number of shares of common stock outstanding and other factors the board of directors may deem relevant. The timing and amount of future dividend payments will be at the discretion of our board of directors. Our board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.14 per share of common stock which will be paid on March 30, 2018 to stockholders of record as of March 21, 2018. See Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Dividends.”
The following table contains information for common shares repurchased during the fourth quarter of 2017:
Period 2017
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased
(1)
 
Average Price Paid Per Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
(2)
 
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs
October 1 to October 31
 
626,528

 
$
18.24

 
626,528

 
$
390,898,678

November 1 to November 30
 

 

 

 
390,898,678

December 1 to December 31
 

 

 

 
390,898,678

Total
 
626,528

 


 
626,528

 

________________________
(1)
Represents shares repurchased in open market transactions pursuant to the Share Repurchase Program (as defined below).
(2)
Share repurchases were made pursuant to a multi-year share repurchase program (the "Share Repurchase Program") authorized by our board of directors on February 6, 2017. This program was announced on February 7, 2017 and allows for the purchase of up to $500 million of outstanding shares of our common stock in privately negotiated transactions or in the open market, or otherwise.

29



Stock Performance Graph
The following graph shows a comparison from April 17, 2014, the date our common stock commenced trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, through December 31, 2017 of the cumulative total return for our common stock, the S&P 500 Index, S&P Software and Services Select Index and the NASDAQ Composite. The comparison assumes $100 was invested on April 17, 2014 in our common stock and in each of the indices and assumes reinvestment of dividends.
http://api.tenkwizard.com/cgi/image?quest=1&rid=23&ipage=12067401&doc=15
The stock price performance depicted in the above graph is not necessarily indicative of future price performance. The stock performance graph shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing by us under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate the graph by reference in such filing.    

30



ITEM 6.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The following selected financial data should be read in conjunction with Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto contained in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The consolidated statements of operations data and consolidated statements of cash flows data for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements contained in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The consolidated statements of operations data and consolidated statements of cash flows data for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2015 and 2014 are derived from audited consolidated financial statements not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2013 is derived from unaudited consolidated financial statements not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The unaudited consolidated financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as our audited consolidated financial statements and, in the opinion of management, reflect all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments, necessary for a fair presentation of this data. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected in the future. All amounts presented below are in thousands, except per share amounts.
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
$
3,598,484

 
$
3,373,387

 
$
2,960,896

 
$
2,631,417

 
$
2,523,546

Operating income
493,440

 
459,572

 
459,769

 
421,345

 
380,930

Income from continuing operations
249,576

 
241,390

 
234,555

 
110,873

 
52,066

(Loss) income from discontinued operations, net of tax
(1,932
)
 
5,549

 
314,408

 
(38,918
)
 
(149,697
)
Net income (loss) attributable to Sabre Corporation
242,531

 
242,562

 
545,482

 
69,223

 
(100,494
)
Net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders
242,531

 
242,562

 
545,482

 
57,842

 
(137,198
)
Net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
$
0.87

 
$
0.87

 
$
2.00

 
$
0.24

 
$
(0.77
)
Diluted
$
0.87

 
$
0.86

 
$
1.95

 
$
0.23

 
$
(0.74
)
Weighted-average common shares outstanding:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
276,893

 
277,546

 
273,139

 
238,633

 
178,125

Diluted
278,320

 
282,752

 
280,067

 
246,747

 
184,978

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash provided by operating activities
$
678,033

 
$
699,400

 
$
529,207

 
$
387,659

 
$
228,232

Cash used in investing activities
(317,525
)
 
(445,808
)
 
(729,041
)
 
(258,791
)
 
(239,999
)
Cash provided by (used in) financing activities
(356,780
)
 
(190,025
)
 
93,144

 
(71,945
)
 
262,172

Additions to property and equipment
316,436

 
327,647

 
286,697

 
227,227

 
209,523

Cash payments for interest
149,572

 
151,495

 
154,307

 
197,782

 
255,620

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Financial Data:
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Adjusted Gross Profit
$
1,500,186

 
$
1,460,675

 
$
1,316,820

 
$
1,146,792

 
$
1,060,302

Adjusted Operating Income
706,149

 
720,361

 
653,105

 
601,219

 
584,548

Adjusted Net Income
390,118

 
370,937

 
308,072

 
232,477

 
182,187

Adjusted EBITDA
1,078,571

 
1,046,646

 
941,587

 
840,028

 
778,754

Adjusted Capital Expenditures
377,202

 
411,052

 
350,079

 
265,038

 
268,337

Free Cash Flow
361,597

 
371,753

 
242,510

 
160,432

 
18,709

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Key Metrics:
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Travel Network
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Direct Billable Bookings - Air
462,381

 
445,050

 
384,309

 
321,962

 
314,275

Direct Billable Bookings - Lodging, Ground and Sea
62,443

 
60,421

 
58,414

 
54,122

 
53,503

Total Direct Billable Bookings
524,824

 
505,471

 
442,723

 
376,084

 
367,778

Airline Solutions Passengers Boarded
772,149

 
789,260

 
584,876

 
510,713

 
478,088



31



 
As of December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Cash and cash equivalents
$
361,381

 
$
364,114

 
$
321,132

 
$
155,679

 
$
308,236

Total assets(1)
5,649,364

 
5,724,570

 
5,393,627

 
4,643,073

 
4,755,708

Long-term debt(1)
3,398,731

 
3,276,281

 
3,169,344

 
3,040,009

 
3,643,548

Working capital deficit(1)
(11,455
)
 
(312,977
)
 
(222,400
)
 
(201,052
)
 
(268,272
)
Redeemable preferred stock

 

 

 

 
634,843

Noncontrolling interest
5,198

 
2,579

 
1,438

 
621

 
508

Total stockholders’ equity
698,500

 
625,615

 
484,140

 
84,383

 
(952,536
)
________________________________
(1)
In the fourth quarter of 2015, we adopted new accounting standards that changed the presentation of deferred tax assets and liabilities and debt issuance costs. We applied the new guidance on a retrospective basis to the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2014. The balance sheet data as of December 31, 2013 was not adjusted.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
The following table sets forth the reconciliation of net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders to Adjusted Net Income, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Operating Income (in thousands):
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders
$
242,531

 
$
242,562

 
$
545,482

 
$
57,842

 
$
(137,198
)
Loss (income) from discontinued operations, net of tax
1,932

 
(5,549
)
 
(314,408
)
 
38,918

 
149,697

Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests(1)
5,113

 
4,377

 
3,481

 
2,732

 
2,863

Preferred stock dividends

 

 

 
11,381

 
36,704

Income from continuing operations
249,576

 
241,390

 
234,555

 
110,873

 
52,066

Adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Impairment and related charges(2)
81,112

 

 

 

 

Acquisition-related amortization(3a)
95,860

 
143,425

 
108,121

 
99,383

 
132,685

Loss on extinguishment of debt
1,012

 
3,683

 
38,783

 
33,538

 
12,181

Other, net(5)
(36,530
)
 
(27,617
)
 
(91,377
)
 
63,860

 
305

Restructuring and other costs(6)
23,975

 
18,286

 
9,256

 
10,470

 
27,921

Acquisition-related costs(7)

 
779

 
14,437

 

 

Litigation (reimbursements) costs(8)
(35,507
)
 
46,995

 
16,709

 
14,144

 
18,514

Stock-based compensation
44,689

 
48,524

 
29,971

 
20,094

 
3,387

Management fees(9)

 

 

 
23,701

 
8,761

Tax impact of net income (loss) adjustments(10), (11)
(34,069
)
 
(104,528
)
 
(52,383
)
 
(143,586
)
 
(73,633
)
Adjusted Net Income from continuing operations
$
390,118

 
$
370,937

 
$
308,072

 
$
232,477

 
$
182,187

Adjusted Net Income from continuing operations per share
$
1.40

 
$
1.31

 
$
1.10

 
$
0.94

 
$
0.98

Diluted weighted-average common shares outstanding
278,320

 
282,752

 
280,067

 
246,747

 
184,978

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Adjusted Net Income from continuing operations
390,118


370,937


308,072


232,477


182,187

Adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization of property and equipment(3b)
264,880

 
233,303

 
213,520

 
157,592

 
123,414

Amortization of capitalized implementation costs(3c)
40,131

 
37,258

 
31,441

 
35,859

 
34,143

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
67,411

 
55,724

 
43,521

 
45,358

 
36,649

Interest expense, net
153,925

 
158,251

 
173,298

 
218,877

 
274,689

Remaining provision for income taxes
162,106

 
191,173

 
171,735

 
149,865

 
127,672

Adjusted EBITDA
1,078,571

 
1,046,646

 
941,587

 
840,028

 
778,754

Less:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
400,871

 
413,986

 
351,480

 
289,630

 
287,038

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
67,411

 
55,724

 
43,521

 
45,358

 
36,649

Acquisition related amortization(3a)
(95,860
)
 
(143,425
)
 
(106,519
)
 
(96,179
)
 
(129,481
)
Adjusted Operating Income
$
706,149


$
720,361


$
653,105


$
601,219


$
584,548


32



The following tables set forth the reconciliation of operating income (loss) in our statement of operations to Adjusted Gross Profit, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Operating Income (Loss) by business segment (in thousands):
 
Year Ended December 31, 2017
 
Travel
Network
 
Airline and
Hospitality
Solutions
 
Corporate
 
Total
Operating income (loss)
$
848,336

 
$
246,833

 
$
(601,729
)
 
$
493,440

Add back:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Selling, general and administrative
130,700

 
79,955

 
299,420

 
510,075

Impairment and related charges(2)

 

 
81,112

 
81,112

Cost of revenue adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
80,780

 
165,551

 
71,481

 
317,812

Restructuring and other costs (6)

 

 
12,604

 
12,604

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
67,411

 

 

 
67,411

Stock-based compensation

 

 
17,732

 
17,732

Adjusted Gross Profit
1,127,227


492,339


(119,380
)

1,500,186

Selling, general and administrative
(130,700
)
 
(79,955
)
 
(299,420
)
 
(510,075
)
Joint venture equity income
2,580

 

 

 
2,580

Selling, general and administrative adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
5,305

 
3,425

 
74,329

 
83,059

Restructuring and other costs (6)

 

 
11,371

 
11,371

Litigation reimbursements(8)

 

 
(35,507
)
 
(35,507
)
Stock-based compensation

 

 
26,957

 
26,957

Adjusted EBITDA
1,004,412


415,809


(341,650
)

1,078,571

Less:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
86,085

 
168,976

 
145,810

 
400,871

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
67,411

 

 

 
67,411

Acquisition-related amortization(3a)

 

 
(95,860
)
 
(95,860
)
Adjusted Operating Income (Loss)
$
850,916


$
246,833


$
(391,600
)

$
706,149

 
Year Ended December 31, 2016
 
Travel
Network
 
Airline and
Hospitality
Solutions
 
Corporate
 
Total
Operating income (loss)
$
835,248

 
$
217,631

 
$
(593,307
)
 
$
459,572

Add back:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Selling, general and administrative
132,537

 
71,685

 
421,931

 
626,153

Cost of revenue adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
72,110

 
153,204

 
62,039

 
287,353

Restructuring and other costs (6)

 

 
12,660

 
12,660

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
55,724

 

 

 
55,724

Stock-based compensation

 

 
19,213

 
19,213

Adjusted Gross Profit
1,095,619

 
442,520

 
(77,464
)
 
1,460,675

Selling, general and administrative
(132,537
)
 
(71,685
)
 
(421,931
)
 
(626,153
)
Joint venture equity income
2,780

 

 

 
2,780

Selling, general and administrative adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Depreciation and amortization(3)
4,826

 
1,228

 
120,579

 
126,633

Restructuring and other costs(6)

 

 
5,626

 
5,626

Acquisition-related costs(7)

 

 
779

 
779

Litigation costs(8)

 

 
46,995

 
46,995

Stock-based compensation

 

 
29,311

 
29,311

Adjusted EBITDA
970,688

 
372,063

 
(296,105
)
 
1,046,646

Less:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
76,936

 
154,432

 
182,618

 
413,986

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
55,724

 

 

 
55,724

Acquisition-related amortization(3a)

 

 
(143,425
)
 
(143,425
)
Adjusted Operating Income (Loss)
$
838,028


$
217,631


$
(335,298
)

$
720,361


33



 
Year Ended December 31, 2015
 
Travel
Network
 
Airline and
Hospitality
Solutions
 
Corporate
 
Total
Operating income (loss)
$
751,546

 
$
180,448

 
$
(472,225
)
 
$
459,769

Add back:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Selling, general and administrative
116,511

 
62,247

 
378,319

 
557,077

Cost of revenue adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
62,337

 
142,109

 
40,089

 
244,535

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
43,521

 

 

 
43,521

Stock-based compensation

 

 
11,918

 
11,918

Adjusted Gross Profit
973,915


384,804


(41,899
)

1,316,820

Selling, general and administrative
(116,511
)
 
(62,247
)
 
(378,319
)
 
(557,077
)
Joint venture equity income
14,842

 

 

 
14,842

Joint venture intangible amortization(3a)
1,602

 

 

 
1,602

Selling, general and administrative adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
3,428

 
904

 
102,613

 
106,945

Restructuring and other costs(6)

 

 
9,256

 
9,256

Acquisition-related costs(7)

 

 
14,437

 
14,437

Litigation costs(8)

 

 
16,709

 
16,709

Stock-based compensation

 

 
18,053

 
18,053

Adjusted EBITDA
877,276


323,461


(259,150
)

941,587

Less:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
65,765

 
143,013

 
142,702

 
351,480

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
43,521

 

 

 
43,521

Acquisition-related amortization(3a)
1,602

 

 
(108,121
)
 
(106,519
)
Adjusted Operating Income (Loss)
$
766,388


$
180,448


$
(293,731
)

$
653,105

 
Year Ended December 31, 2014
 
Travel
Network
 
Airline and
Hospitality
Solutions
 
Corporate
 
Total
Operating income (loss)
$
657,326

 
$
176,730

 
$
(412,711
)
 
$
421,345

Add back:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Selling, general and administrative
102,059

 
56,195

 
309,340

 
467,594

Cost of revenue adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
58,533

 
104,926

 
34,950

 
198,409

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
45,358

 

 

 
45,358

Restructuring and other costs(6)

 

 
6,042

 
6,042

Stock-based compensation

 

 
8,044

 
8,044

Adjusted Gross Profit
863,276

 
337,851

 
(54,335
)
 
1,146,792

Selling, general and administrative
(102,059
)
 
(56,195
)
 
(309,340
)
 
(467,594
)
Joint venture equity income
12,082

 

 

 
12,082

Joint venture intangible amortization(3a)
3,204

 

 

 
3,204

Selling, general and administrative adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
2,174

 
992

 
88,055

 
91,221

Restructuring and other costs (6)

 

 
4,428

 
4,428

Litigation costs(8)

 

 
14,144

 
14,144

Stock-based compensation

 

 
12,050

 
12,050

Management fees(9)

 

 
23,701

 
23,701

Adjusted EBITDA
778,677

 
282,648

 
(221,297
)
 
840,028

Less:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
60,707

 
105,918

 
123,005

 
289,630

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
45,358

 

 

 
45,358

Acquisition-related amortization(3a)
3,204

 

 
(99,383
)
 
(96,179
)
Adjusted Operating Income (Loss)
$
669,408


$
176,730


$
(244,919
)

$
601,219


34



 
Year Ended December 31, 2013
 
Travel
Network
 
Airline and
Hospitality
Solutions
 
Corporate
 
Total
Operating income (loss)
$
667,498

 
$
135,755

 
$
(422,323
)
 
$
380,930

Add back:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Selling, general and administrative
106,392

 
51,538

 
279,523

 
437,453

Cost of revenue adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Depreciation and amortization(3)
50,254

 
75,093

 
67,076

 
192,423

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
36,649

 

 

 
36,649

Restructuring and other costs(6)

 

 
11,491

 
11,491

Stock-based compensation

 

 
1,356

 
1,356

Adjusted Gross Profit
860,793

 
262,386

 
(62,877
)
 
1,060,302

Selling, general and administrative
(106,392
)
 
(51,538
)
 
(279,523
)
 
(437,453
)
Joint venture equity income
12,350

 

 

 
12,350

Joint venture intangible amortization(3a)
3,204

 

 

 
3,204

Selling, general and administrative adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
2,253

 
2,227

 
90,135

 
94,615

Restructuring and other costs (6)

 

 
16,430

 
16,430

Litigation costs(8)

 

 
18,514

 
18,514

Stock-based compensation

 

 
2,031

 
2,031

Management fees(9)

 

 
8,761

 
8,761

Adjusted EBITDA
772,208

 
213,075

 
(206,529
)
 
778,754

Less:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization(3)
52,507

 
77,320

 
157,211

 
287,038

Amortization of upfront incentive consideration(4)
36,649

 

 

 
36,649

Acquisition-related amortization(3a)
3,204

 

 
(132,685
)
 
(129,481
)
Adjusted Operating Income (Loss)
$
679,848


$
135,755


$
(231,055
)

$
584,548

The components of Adjusted Capital Expenditures are presented below (in thousands):
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Additions to property and equipment
$
316,436

 
$
327,647

 
$
286,697

 
$
227,227

 
$
209,523

Capitalized implementation costs
60,766

 
83,405

 
63,382

 
37,811

 
58,814

Adjusted capital expenditures
$
377,202

 
$
411,052

 
$
350,079

 
$
265,038

 
$
268,337

The following tables present information from our statements of cash flows and sets forth the reconciliation of Free Cash Flow to cash provided by operating activities, the most directly comparable GAAP measure (in thousands):
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Cash provided by operating activities
$
678,033

 
$
699,400

 
$
529,207

 
$
387,659

 
$
228,232

Cash used in investing activities
(317,525
)
 
(445,808
)
 
(729,041
)
 
(258,791
)
 
(239,999
)
Cash provided by (used in) financing activities
(356,780
)
 
(190,025
)
 
93,144

 
(71,945
)
 
262,172

 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Cash provided by operating activities
$
678,033

 
$
699,400

 
$
529,207

 
$
387,659

 
$
228,232

Additions to property and equipment
(316,436
)
 
(327,647
)
 
(286,697
)
 
(227,227
)
 
(209,523
)
Free Cash Flow
$
361,597

 
$
371,753

 
$
242,510

 
$
160,432

 
$
18,709

________________________________
(1)
Net income attributable to non-controlling interests represents an adjustment to include earnings allocated to non-controlling interest held in (i) Sabre Travel Network Middle East of 40% for all periods presented, (ii) Sabre Seyahat Dagitim Sistemleri A.S. of 40% beginning in April 2014, (iii) Abacus International Lanka Pte Ltd of 40% beginning in July 2015, and (iv) Sabre Bulgaria of 40% beginning in November 2017.

35



(2)
Impairment and related charges represents an $81 million charge in 2017 associated with net capitalized contract costs related to an Airline Solutions' customer based on our analysis of the recoverability of such amounts. See Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Overview—Factors Affecting our Results” for additional information.
(3)
Depreciation and amortization expenses:
a.
Acquisition-related amortization represents amortization of intangible assets from the take-private transaction in 2007 as well as intangibles associated with acquisitions since that date. Also includes amortization of the excess basis in our underlying equity interest in SAPPL's net assets prior to our acquisition of SAPPL on July 1, 2015.
b.
Depreciation and amortization of property and equipment includes software developed for internal use.
c.
Amortization of capitalized implementation costs represents amortization of upfront costs to implement new customer contracts under our SaaS and hosted revenue model.
(4)
Our Travel Network business at times provides upfront incentive consideration to travel agency subscribers at the inception or modification of a service contract, which are capitalized and amortized to cost of revenue over an average expected life of the service contract, generally over three to five years. This consideration is made with the objective of increasing the number of clients or to ensure or improve customer loyalty. These service contract terms are established such that the supplier and other fees generated over the life of the contract will exceed the cost of the incentive consideration provided upfront. These service contracts with travel agency subscribers require that the customer commit to achieving certain economic objectives and generally have terms requiring repayment of the upfront incentive consideration if those objectives are not met.
(5)
In 2017, Other, net includes a benefit of $60 million due to a reduction to our liability under the Tax Receivable Agreement ("TRA") primarily due to a provisional adjustment resulting from the enactment of TCJA which reduced the U.S. corporate income tax rate (see Note 7. Income Taxes, to our consolidated financial statements), offset by a loss of $15 million related to debt modification costs associated with a debt refinancing. In 2016, we recognized a gain of $15 million from the sale of our available-for-sale marketable securities, and $6 million gain associated with the receipt of an earn-out payment related to the sale of a business in 2013. In 2015, we recognized a gain of $78 million associated with the remeasurement of our previously-held 35% investment in SAPPL to its fair value and a gain of $12 million related to the settlement of pre-existing agreements between us and SAPPL. In 2014, Other, net primarily includes a charge of $66 million as a result of an increase to our TRA liability. The increase in our TRA liability is due to a reduction in a valuation allowance maintained against our deferred tax assets. This charge is fully offset by an income tax benefit recognized in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the reduction in the valuation allowance which is included in tax impacts of net income adjustments. In addition, all periods presented include foreign exchange gains and losses related to the remeasurement of foreign currency denominated balances included in our consolidated balance sheets into the relevant functional currency. See Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Tax Receivable Agreement” for additional information regarding the TRA.
(6)
Restructuring and other costs represents charges associated with business restructuring and associated changes implemented which resulted in severance benefits related to employee terminations, integration and facility opening or closing costs and other business reorganization costs. We recorded $25 million and $20 million in charges associated with announced actions to reduce our workforce in 2017 and 2016, respectively. These reductions aligned our operations with business needs and implemented an ongoing cost and organizational structure consistent with our expected growth needs and opportunities. In 2015, we recognized a restructuring charge of $9 million associated with the integration of Abacus, and reduced that estimate by $4 million in 2016, as a result of the reevaluation of our plan derived from a shift in timing and strategy of originally contemplated actions. As of December 31, 2017, our actions under this plan have been substantially completed and payments under the plan have been made.
(7)
Acquisition-related costs represent fees and expenses incurred associated with the acquisition of Abacus, the Trust Group and Airpas Aviation.
(8)
Litigation (reimbursements) costs, net represent charges and legal fee reimbursements associated with antitrust litigation. In 2017, we recorded a $43 million reimbursement, net of accrued legal and related expenses, from a settlement with our insurance carriers with respect to the American Airlines litigation. In 2016, we recorded an accrual of $32 million representing the trebling of the jury award plus our estimate of attorneys’ fees, expenses and costs in the US Airways litigation. See Item 3, "Legal Proceedings."
(9)
We paid an annual management fee to TPG Global, LLC (“TPG”) and Silver Lake Management Company (“Silver Lake”) in an amount between (i) $5 million and (ii) $7 million, plus reimbursement of certain costs incurred by TPG and Silver Lake, pursuant to the management services agreement (the “MSA”). In addition, we paid a $21 million fee, in the aggregate, to TPG and Silver Lake in connection with our initial public offering in 2014. The MSA was terminated in conjunction with our initial public offering.
(10)
In 2017, the tax impact on net income adjustments includes a provisional impact of $47 million recognized in the fourth quarter of 2017 as a result of the enactment of the TCJA in December 2017. See Note 7. Income Taxes, to our consolidated financial statements. In 2014, the tax impact on net income adjustments includes a $66 million benefit recognized in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the reduction in a valuation allowance maintained against our deferred tax assets.
(11)
In the first quarter of 2016, we adopted Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") 2016-09, Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting. For the year ended December 31, 2016, we recognized $35 million in excess tax benefits associated with employee equity-based awards, as a result of the adoption of this standard. There were no other material impacts to our consolidated financial statements as a result of adopting this updated standard.

36



Definitions of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We have included both financial measures compiled in accordance with GAAP and certain non-GAAP financial measures in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including Adjusted Gross Profit, Adjusted Operating Income (Loss), Adjusted Net Income from continuing operations ("Adjusted Net Income"), Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Capital Expenditures, Free Cash Flow and ratios based on these financial measures.
We define Adjusted Gross Profit as operating income (loss) adjusted for selling, general and administrative expenses, impairment and related charges, amortization of upfront incentive consideration, the cost of revenue portion of depreciation and amortization, restructuring and other costs, and stock-based compensation included in cost of revenue.
We define Adjusted Operating Income (Loss) as operating income (loss) adjusted for joint venture equity income, impairment and related charges, acquisition-related amortization, restructuring and other costs, acquisition-related costs, litigation (reimbursements) costs and stock-based compensation.
We define Adjusted Net Income as net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders adjusted for income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax, net income attributable to noncontrolling interests, preferred stock dividends, impairment and related charges, acquisition-related amortization, loss on extinguishment of debt, other, net, restructuring and other costs, acquisition-related costs, litigation costs (reimbursements), net, stock-based compensation, management fees, and tax impact of net income adjustments.
We define Adjusted EBITDA as Adjusted Net Income adjusted for depreciation and amortization of property and equipment, amortization of capitalized implementation costs, amortization of upfront incentive consideration, interest expense, net, and the remaining provision for income taxes. This Adjusted EBITDA metric differs from the Pre-VCP Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA metrics referenced in the section entitled “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” in our 2017 Proxy Statement, which are calculated for the purposes of our annual incentive compensation program and performance-based awards, respectively.
We define Adjusted Capital Expenditures as additions to property and equipment and capitalized implementation costs.
We define Free Cash Flow as cash provided by operating activities less cash used in additions to property and equipment.
We define Adjusted Net Income from continuing operations per share as Adjusted Net Income divided by diluted weighted-average common shares outstanding.
These non-GAAP financial measures are key metrics used by management and our board of directors to monitor our ongoing core operations because historical results have been significantly impacted by events that are unrelated to our core operations as a result of changes to our business and the regulatory environment. We believe that these non-GAAP financial measures are used by investors, analysts and other interested parties as measures of financial performance and to evaluate our ability to service debt obligations, fund capital expenditures and meet working capital requirements. Adjusted Capital Expenditures include cash flows used in investing activities, for property and equipment, and cash flows used in operating activities, for capitalized implementation costs. Our management uses this combined metric in making product investment decisions and determining development resource requirements. We also believe that Adjusted Gross Profit, Adjusted Operating Income (Loss), Adjusted Net Income, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Capital Expenditures assist investors in company-to-company and period-to-period comparisons by excluding differences caused by variations in capital structures (affecting interest expense), tax positions and the impact of depreciation and amortization expense. In addition, amounts derived from Adjusted EBITDA are a primary component of certain covenants under our senior secured credit facilities.
Adjusted Gross Profit, Adjusted Operating Income (Loss), Adjusted Net Income, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Capital Expenditures, Free Cash Flow and ratios based on these financial measures are not recognized terms under GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures and ratios based on them are unaudited and have important limitations as analytical tools, and should not be viewed in isolation and do not purport to be alternatives to net income as indicators of operating performance or cash flows from operating activities as measures of liquidity. These non-GAAP financial measures and ratios based on them exclude some, but not all, items that affect net income or cash flows from operating activities and these measures may vary among companies. Our use of these measures has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider them in isolation or as substitutes for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are:
these non-GAAP financial measures exclude certain recurring, non-cash charges such as stock-based compensation expense and amortization of acquired intangible assets
although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized may have to be replaced in the future, and Adjusted Gross Profit and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect cash requirements for such replacements;
Adjusted Operating Income (Loss), Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs;

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Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect the interest expense or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments on our indebtedness;
Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect tax payments that may represent a reduction in cash available to us;
Free Cash Flow removes the impact of accrual-basis accounting on asset accounts and non-debt liability accounts, and does not reflect the cash requirements necessary to service the principal payments on our indebtedness; and
other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate Adjusted Gross Profit, Adjusted Operating Income (Loss), Adjusted Net Income, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Capital Expenditures or Free Cash Flow differently, which reduces their usefulness as comparative measures.

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ITEM 7.
MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Overview
We connect people and places with technology that reimagines the business of travel. We operate through two business segments: (i) Travel Network, our global business-to-business travel marketplace for travel suppliers and travel buyers, and (ii) Airline and Hospitality Solutions, an extensive suite of leading software solutions primarily for airlines and hoteliers. Collectively, these offerings enable travel suppliers to better serve their customers across the entire travel lifecycle, from route planning to post-trip business intelligence and analytics.
A significant portion of our revenue is generated through transaction based fees that we charge to our customers. For Travel Network, this fee is in the form of a transaction fee for bookings on our GDS; for Airline and Hospitality Solutions, this fee is a recurring usage-based fee for the use of our SaaS and hosted systems, as well as upfront fees and professional service fees. Items that are not allocated to our business segments are identified as corporate and primarily include certain shared technology costs, stock-based compensation expense, litigation costs, corporate headcount-related costs, and other items that are not identifiable with either one of our segments.
In the first quarter of 2015, we completed our exit of the online travel agency business through the sale of Travelocity.com and lastminute.com. Our Travelocity segment has no remaining operations as a result of these dispositions. The financial results of our Travelocity segment are included in net income (loss) from discontinued operations in our consolidated statements of operations for all periods presented. The discussion and analysis of our results of operations refers to continuing operations unless otherwise indicated.
On July 1, 2015, we completed the acquisition of the remaining 65% interest in SAPPL, a Singapore-based business-to-business travel e-commerce provider that serves the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to the acquisition, SAPPL was 65% owned by a consortium of 11 airlines and the remaining 35% was owned by us. In the third and fourth quarters of 2015, SAPPL completed the acquisition of the remaining interest in three national marketing companies, Abacus Distribution Systems (Hong Kong), Abacus Travel Systems (Singapore) and Abacus Distribution Systems Sdn Bhd (Malaysia) (the “NMCs” and together with SAPPL, “Abacus”). The net cash consideration for Abacus was $443 million. Abacus has been integrated and is managed as a region of our Travel Network business. Separately, SAPPL has signed new long-term agreements with the consortium of 11 airlines to continue to utilize the Abacus GDS.
In January 2016, we completed the acquisition of the Trust Group, a central reservation, revenue management and hotel marketing provider with a significant presence in EMEA and APAC, for net cash consideration of $156 million. The Trust Group has been integrated and is managed as part of our Airline and Hospitality Solutions segment.

Recent Developments Affecting our Results of Operations
On December 22, 2017, the TCJA was signed into law. The TCJA contains significant changes to the U.S. corporate income tax system, including a reduction of the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, a limitation of the tax deduction for interest expense to 30% of adjusted taxable income (as defined in the TCJA), base erosion provisions related to intercompany foreign payments and global low-taxed income, one-time taxation of offshore earnings at reduced rates in connection with the transition of U.S. international taxation from a worldwide tax system to a territorial tax system, elimination of U.S. tax on foreign earnings (subject to certain important exceptions), and modifying or repealing many business deductions and credits. We recorded a provisional amount for our one-time transition tax liability resulting in an increase in income tax expense of $48 million in 2017 for previously untaxed earnings and profits of our foreign subsidiaries. Additionally, Other, net for the year ended December 31, 2017 includes a benefit of $58 million associated with a reduction to our TRA liability, due to a provisional adjustment resulting from the reduced U.S. corporate in