CHICAGO – Expedia Inc. is hiding pricing information for American Airlines flights on its website in a display of solidarity with Orbitz Worldwide Inc., which is enmeshed in a contract dispute with the nation’s No. 3 carrier.

The online travel giants are warring with American over the airline’s attempts to take greater control of the way it sells tickets and other services.

The new contract terms sought by the Texas-based carrier would drive down its costs and impose new technology on agencies like Orbitz and Expedia and the global clearinghouses that provide the ticket data they peddle over the Internet, analysts said.

“You have to keep in mind that the online travel agencies have a lot at stake in this game,” said Douglas Quinby, senior director of research at PhoCusWright Inc. “They are really trying to call American’s bluff on this.”

Starting Wednesday, Expedia “adjusted” how American flights are displayed online, pushing the carrier’s logo to the far end of its search matrix, running the words “see flights” where American’s lowest fares normally would appear.

“This has been done in light of both American Airlines’ recent decision to prevent Orbitz from selling its inventory and a possible disruption in Exedia’s ability to sell American Airlines tickets when our contract with American Airlines expires,” Washington-based Expedia said in a statement.

American accused Expedia of “favoritism,” adding, “This discriminatory action is unwarranted, especially considering that American has taken no action against and continues to operate in good faith with Expedia.”

American Airlines pulled its inventory of tickets for American and American Eagle flights from Orbitz on Tuesday after a Cook County (Ill.) Circuit Court judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction sought by Travelport.

Orbitz’ corporate parent and largest shareholder, Travelport, sought to block American from canceling its contracts with the online travel agency until the Chicago court determined whether doing so also would breach Travelport’s contract agreements and cause it economic harm.

Consumer advocates worry that if other major carriers follow American’s lead, traditional and online travel agencies like Orbitz, Expedia and Priceline could lose the ability to display the best available fares to bargain-minded consumers.