Trivago advertising over an 18-month period was found by the Federal Court to be misleading consumers.

Expedia-owned hotel deals aggregator Trivago has responded to Federal Court action filed today by the ACCC, saying it will “vigorously defend our interests” in relation to the matter.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today accused Trivago of misleading consumers in its television and online advertising by prioritising hotel offers from companies paying a higher ‘pay per click’ rate in exchange for being ranked higher in customer search results than competitors.

In its response, Trivago acknowledged the statement of claim made by the ACCC, adding: “Trivago helps thousands of Australians find their ideal accommodation through personalised searches and a deep supply of hotel prices and other information.  Our priority is to enable Australian travellers to find their ideal hotel.

“We agree with the ACCC’s earlier public statement that “comparator websites can assist consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions when comparing what are often quite complex products, and can promote healthy competition by assisting small or new service providers to compete more effectively.

“We are disappointed by the action the ACCC has chosen to take in relation to trivago and will vigorously defend our interests.”