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Federal Court decision highlights importance of booking direct

Trivago outcome welcomed as win for Australian consumers and operators

The Accommodation Association has welcomed what it describes as a “common sense” decision by the Federal Court to fine Trivago $44.7 million for misleading consumers on hotel rates.

Handing down his decision last week, Federal Court Justice, Mark Moshinsky said Trivago’s conduct has cost Australian consumers $30 million.

Speaking on behalf of the association’s membership, chairman, Richard Munro said the writing had been on the wall for the travel booking company for some time

“After surviving COVID-19 and closed borders, the harsh reality is that many of our members rely on a portion of their bookings generated through these platforms, and can find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place,” he said.

“The association is continually alerting the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to exploitative practices.

“We want the ACCC to now cast its net wider and review price parity rules where similar large, overseas based multi-national corporations threaten Australian accommodation providers with exclusion if the accommodation provider offers a better rate online.

Australian travel consumers, Mr Munro said, deserve access to the best available rates, and the only way to guarantee that outcome is to book directly with Australian accommodation operators or through their local travel business.”

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