The German hotel search operator Trivago has been convicted in Australia for misleading consumers. Trivago claims to show the search results for the cheapest hotels in its advertisements and website, but the truth is Trivago does not show the cheapest hotels.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (ACCC) Rod Sims, on Tuesday, the hotel results for which the company receives the highest commissions are displayed.
Earlier in August 2019, ACCC sued Trivago, the court has found the company guilty of violating consumer protection laws. It stated that Trivago hides offer that do not reach a certain sales threshold for the search engine operator. In the further hearing, the level of penalty for the company will be determined.
Sims said, “Trivago makes its money from advertising customer’s commissions. You give priority to people who pay the highest commissions. That is why consumers are directed to the pages of the advertisers who use Trivago the most – and not those who use them themselves. “
Speaking on behalf of the company, Trivago spokesperson said they will review the verdict. It gives them new information on how search results from comparison portals in Australia should be presented.
He further added, “We are working to understand how this decision affects the design of our website – and the tourism industry in Australia in general.”