Hotel Booking Sites Were Misleading Users

Major travel websites including Trivago (TRVG), Expedia (EXPE), Agoda and have agreed to change the way they do business after a UK investigation found some of them were deceiving users about hotel room prices and search results.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority on Wednesday announced the results of its probe, which focused on issues such as pressure selling, misleading discount claims and hidden charges.
The regulator said that some buyers were warned that other users were looking at the same hotel, giving them a “false impression” of a room’s popularity. In other cases, the full cost of the room was not displayed.
While not all of the platforms engaged in each of the unfair practices, they have now agreed to follow a common set of guidelines.
The companies have pledged to display all charges including taxes and refrain from pressure selling. They will be clearer about discounts and only promote deals that are really available at that time.
The changes must be made by September 1.
Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Competition and Markets Authority, said in a statement that the regulator will now do “whatever it can to ensure that the rest of the sector meets the same standards.”