Italian Antitrust Authority fines Expedia for violation of consumer protection laws


Italian Antitrust Authority, with decision of 16th February 2011, has found that Expedia web site price display practices were in violation of consumer protection laws. The decision follows a trend by Italian enforcement agencies aimed at changing current practice in the transportation and hospitality sector to charge separately for credit card fees, booking fees and other expenses.

The enforcement agency held that it is not sufficient to show all elements of cost before such a time when the customer accepts to make the purchase, and that the displayed price must already contain all foreseable elements of cost, even if those elements are assessed by the third party service provider, whether it is the airline, the hotel operator or others.

This decision is one of the several decisions issued against on line travel agencies as well as airlines, with heavy fines, which are causing all relevant operators to modify significantly their price structure and their marketing messages. Other decisions with heavy fines have hit Ryan Air and several other low cost airlines.

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Reference Info:n/a | Italy

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