© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of global online travel brand Expedia is pictured at the International Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of U.S. state attorneys general are investigating Expedia (NASDAQ:) Group and hotel chains like Hyatt Hotels Corp and Marriott International Inc for alleged violations of antitrust law in online travel booking, according to a court filing.

The filing in a state court in Utah relates to a dispute originally filed in Texas in which Travelpass accused the hotel chains last year of agreeing with each other, and with online travel groups like Expedia, to not advertise to consumers who searched for another company’s hotel.

This means, for example, that a traveler who searches online for a Marriott in Dallas would not be shown advertising for competing hotels, the Travelpass lawsuit alleges.

The Utah attorney general’s office indicated that it and an unspecified number of other state attorneys general were investigating Travelpass’ complaints against Expedia and hotel chains.

The chains named in a document filed with the court included Hyatt, Marriott, Caesars Entertainment Corp and Choice Hotels International Inc.

“With respect to the investigation at issue, a multistate group has formed, but other states may be reluctant to join if there is a risk of future disclosure of their confidential communications,” the Utah attorney general’s office said in the filing.

According to the filing, the Utah investigation was opened in 2017 and remains active.

The case is similar to one in which hotel customers accused hotel chains of conspiring to not compete with one another online. A judge ruled in March that that case could go forward.

Expedia, Caesar’s and Choice did not respond to a request for comment. Hyatt and Marriott declined comment.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Source link

2019-05-09