“Not An Impartial Service”: Court Finds Trivago Favoured Advertisers Over Consumers

“Not An Impartial Service”: Court Finds Trivago Favoured Advertisers Over Consumers

Travel comparison website Trivago misled customers and breached consumer law, the Australian Federal Court has found.

The decision comes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) initiated proceedings against Trivago in 2018, alleging the website was not “an impartial and objective price comparison service” as depicted in TV advertisements.

The Federal Court found the comparison website didn’t actually show customers the cheapest deals, rather, the first search result was from the advertiser who had paid the most.

The top spot received 80 per cent more clicks than the second, the court said.

“Contrary to the impression created by the relevant conduct, the Trivago website did not provide an impartial, objective and transparent price comparison service,” Federal Court Justice Mark Moshinsky said in his judgement.

“The fact that Trivago was being paid by the online booking sites was not made clear.”

It was also found Trivago misled consumers by comparing standard room rates with luxury rooms.

The Federal Court is yet to announce whether or not Trivago will be fined for the indiscretion, with the matter to return to court at a later date.




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