Online Travel Vendors

News & Analysis as of

Competition News September 2015

The French Macron law and the framework of commercial relations - Promulgated on August 6, 2015, the law to promote growth, activity and equal economic opportunity, known as the “Macron law”, provides for a series of...more

DOJ Will Not Be Challenging Expedia-Orbitz Merger

David Crockett © September 18, 2015 Despite the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s (AH&LA) public denouncement of Expedia, Inc.’s (“Expedia”) $1.6 million acquisition of Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (“Orbitz”), as...more

Cheap Flights for Flying Blind

European discount airline Germanwings has a practice it calls “Blind Booking”. The concept is straightforward. Essentially you don’t know your destination city until after you have booked the flight. But for €33...more

Alice Challenge Fails But May Be Renewed Later

The disputed technology relates to methods and systems for remote ordering of products. The court held a Markman hearing and issued a claim construction opinion prior to issuing this opinion. Argument on patent eligibility...more

Copyright & Trademark Protections- Is Metadata Included?

A Canadian federal court recently released an opinion holding that meta tags, at least in some circumstances, are not entitled to copyright protection. Although the precedent is not binding in American courts, the...more

Rate Parity Under Attack

Over the last decade, Online Travel Agents (“OTAs”), such as Expedia, Travelocity, and, have gained enormous market power. The OTAs have advertising budgets that dwarf those of most hotels, and they benefit from...more

Online Vacation and Short term Rental Sites: Are Taxing Days Ahead?

In recent years, online vacation and short term rental sites have made great inroads into the hospitality industry. Given their infancy and business model, however, they have gone largely unregulated, particularly when it...more

The Macron Law Modifies French Competition Rules and Procedures

The Macron Law Modifies French Competition Rules and Procedures. After seven months of discussions before the French Parliament, the bill on “Growth and Activity and Equality of Economic Opportunities” known as the...more

Montana: OTCs Subject to Retroactive Sales Tax Assessments

Recently, the Montana Supreme Court ruled 5-to-2 that online travel companies (OTCs) were subject to sales tax under the existing sales tax statute. Furthermore, their liability is retroactive to November of 2010. However,...more

Hotels Troubled over Potential Expedia-Orbitz Merger

Expedia, Inc. (“Expedia”) is in the works to acquire Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (“Orbitz”) for $1.6 billion dollars. This news arrives on the heels of Expedia’s purchase of Travelocity for $280 million in January, 2015. The...more

OTAs and the Back-Tax Parade

On Wednesday, August 13, 2015, the Montana Supreme Court issued a ruling in Department of Revenue v. Priceline, holding that online travel agencies (“OTAs”)—including Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and...more

European Competition Law Newsletter – May 2015

On 15 April 2015, the European Commission (EC) sent a Statement of Objections (preliminary statement of case) to Google alleging the company has abused its dominant position in the markets for general internet search services...more

Tribunal Forces UK Competition Authority to Rethink Hotel Bookings Settlement

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) quashed the decision of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), now the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), to close its investigation into pricing arrangements entered into by...more And Other Online Travel Vendors Don't Have To Pay Occupancy Taxes To North Carolina Counties

It's hard to like the result in Wake County v., LP, 2012 NCBC 61. The case is a consolidation of cases brought by several North Carolina counties (Mecklenburg, Wake, Dare, and Buncombe) against and other...more

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