Top hotels accused of manipulating search results
The hotel chains include Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott and Wyndham.
A class of guests claims six hotel chains entered into an illegal and anticompetitive agreement to eliminate competing hotels from search engine results and freeze out online travel agencies like Priceline and Expedia.
On Monday, lead plaintiff Karen Tichy of Clarksville, Virginia, sued six hotel companies, asking a federal judge in Chicago to put a stop to a practice that she alleges restrains competition and hurts consumers.
Tichy estimates that the scheme to eliminate competitors from search results damages millions of hotel shoppers and costs them billions of dollars each year. She is represented by lead attorney Steve Berman of Hagens Berman in Seattle.
The hotel chains include Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott and Wyndham. They own and control some of the most recognizable hotel and motel brands in the country, including Comfort Inn, Hampton Inn, DoubleTree, Park Hyatt, Holiday Inn and Travelodge.
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