US: Sen. Klobuchar urges probe for online travel agencies

US Senator Amy Klobuchar, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, has urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the potential existence of deceptive conduct by online travel agencies. While the large online travel agencies serve an important role in promoting consumer choice and competition for hotel and airline bookings, their size and market influence may allow them to engage in practices that could be detrimental to consumer welfare.

In a letter to Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim and FTC Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen, Klobuchar calls on the agencies to examine the extent to which these websites may be engaging in misleading or anticompetitive conduct, affecting the prices and levels of service available to American consumers.

“As Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, I write to urge you to investigate whether online travel agencies are engaging in deceptive or anticompetitive conduct. While the large online travel agencies serve an important role in promoting consumer choice and competition for hotel and airline bookings, their size and market influence may allow them to engage in practices that could be detrimental to consumer welfare,” Klobuchar wrote. “Online travel agencies have become an essential element of the travel industry. In light of their continued importance, I urge you to examine the extent to which they may be engaging in misleading or anticompetitive conduct, affecting the prices and levels of service available to American consumers.”

Full Content: Klobuchar.com

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