French hoteliers sue US travel site Expedia

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The Independent Online

A French hoteliers' union on Thursday said it was filing a case against the Internet-based travel company Expedia and its websites TripAdvisor and Hotels.com in a Paris court, accusing them of "unfair commercial practices."

TripAdvisor offers commentary on hotels while Expedia and Hotels.com arrange reservations.

Didier Chenet, head of the Synhorcat union, said smaller French hotel owners were "attacking some of their practices," notably regarding alternative booking procedures and advertised offers that do not exist in reality.

Christophe Paluel-Marmont, head of Synhorcat's European division, said: "If you find a hotel on TripAdvisor, to find out more about it you are automatically directed to Expedia and not the website of the hotel itself.

"If the establishment does not have an agreement with Expedia, then it tells you that the hotel is full" instead of indicating that the potential client could reserve the rooms through other means, he added.

The association said it had filed suit against Expedia at the commercial court in Paris but was "open to a constructive dialogue."

US-based Expedia owns several travel booking websites including Expedia.com, TripAdvisor and Hotels.com.

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