OTA & Travel Distribution Update: Resort Fee Saga Targeting Marriott Continues; non-cancellable rates at the heart of Booking.com’s pending appeal; TripAdvisor fined for potentially bogus reviews | Foster Garvey PC

This week’s update includes additional background information regarding the ongoing resort fee saga, which many of you have requested. Enjoy.

Resort Fees – Part Two
Many of you have reached out to us over the past week to request more information on the ongoing Marriott litigation and the events leading up to the claims. We have attached copies of the Marriott complaint as good as FTC Report on Resort Fee which was issued in January 2017. Please let us know if anyone has any questions or would like more information.

Non-cancellable rates at the heart of the wait Booking.com Appeal
(“South Korean Booking.com Court Appeal Raises Questions About Consumer Benefits of KFTC Remedial Orders, Extraterritorial Enforcement Aspirations,” MLex Insight July 17, 2019)
In arguments last week in the Seoul High Court, attorneys for Booking.com challenged the Korean Fair Trade Commission’s corrective order which Booking.com change is its no-refund policy. In 2017 (following an investigation into the practices of several online travel platforms operating in South Korea), the Korean regulator issued corrective recommendations regarding the platforms’ non-reimbursement policies. Expedia has followed the recommendations and Booking.com appealed. At last week’s hearing, the question was whether requiring the platform to abandon its no-refund policy (and the corresponding availability of some discounted fares) was really in the cards. consumer interest.

TripAdvisor fined for potentially bogus reviews
(“TripAdvisor was fined 100,000 euros for violation of the consumer code”, eTurbo News July 18, 2019)
The Italian Council of State last week fined TripAdvisor (100,000 euros) for disseminating false information about the source of its consumer reviews. The fine follows earlier sanctions by the Italian Competition and Market Surveillance Authority based on complaints from the National Consumers Union and the Italian Hotel and Tourism Association that the platform review form should stop posting anonymous (unverifiable) reviews.


Other news:

Google in Congress: we are not a travel monopoly
Skift Travel News July 16, 2019
If you run a hotel, airline, or online travel agency and thought you needed to buy ads from Google Search or Google Trips, then guess again – it’s probably not as essential as you might expect. have long believed, because consumers start their travel searches with “specialist competitors.”

Ebix to acquire Yatra, an Indian business travel player for $ 338 million
Skift Travel News July 17, 2019
Atlanta-based tech company Ebix is ​​buying Indian travel service provider Yatra Online for $ 337.8 million. The deal is the biggest consolidation in the Indian online travel market since MakeMyTrip acquired rival GoIbibo in 2016. Ebix’s core business is selling software to insurers.

Expedia warns travelers of customer service refund scam
Digital Trend News July 17, 2019
According to a press release, con artists pose as Expedia employees to take money from ignorant consumers. Expedia Group and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​have teamed up to alert consumers to these scams that have been reported in recent days.

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