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Consumer fraud by biggest hotel chains?

Staff Writer |
A new class-action lawsuit has uncovered an antitrust scheme by major hotel chains, including Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott, and Wyndham.

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It is alleging they conspired to reduce competition and raise consumer prices, according to Hagens Berman.

Attorneys say millions of consumers have been affected by the years-long, anti-competitive practices that cost them billions of dollars. The suit, filed March 19, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois states that defendants engaged in an anti-competitive agreement to eliminate online branded keyword search advertising against each other.

This in turn, according to the suit, deprives consumers of the free flow of competitive information, raising prices for hotel rooms, and raising the cost of finding hotel rooms.

Approximately 60 percent of all hotel room inventory in the United States is involved in this lawsuit, including:

- Choice Hotels International – Comfort Inn, Comfort Inn Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, and all other Choice Hotels International-branded hotels

- Hilton – Hampton Inn, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Waldorf Astoria, and all other Hilton-branded hotels

- Hyatt – Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, and all other Hyatt-branded hotels

- InterContinental – Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites, and all other InterContinental-branded hotels

- Marriott – Sheraton, Starwood, Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn, and all other Marriott-branded hotels

- Wyndham – Travelodge, Super 8, Knights Inn, Ramada, Days Inn, Howard Johnson’s, and all other Wyndham-branded hotels

This lawsuit seeks reimbursement for consumers who paid high prices for hotel rooms and an injunction from the court to force the hotel chains to end their deceptive marketing practices.

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