CHICAGO — A U.S.-based group of guests have filed a lawsuit against six hotel companies, alleging the companies participated in an illegal agreement to eliminate competing hotels from search-engine results and freeze out online travel agencies, reports Courthouse News Service.

The class action complaint names Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), Marriott International, Choice Hotels International and Wyndham Worldwide, and challenges these companies’ “conspiracy and agreements to eliminate branded keyword-search advertising against each other, depriving consumers of the free flow of competitive information, raising consumer prices for hotel rooms and raising the cost of finding hotel rooms for consumers.”

The suit suggests the alleged agreement affects all consumers who booked hotels from 2015 to 2017. The case’s lead plaintiff, Karen Tichy, estimates the scheme to eliminate competitors from search results damages millions of hotel shoppers and costs them billions of dollars each year.


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