Hotel booking giant, Trivago, is in hot water with millions of dollars in fines hanging over its head after admitting to "ripping off" its users.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched legal proceedings against Trivago in August, in the Federal Court, alleging they breached Australian Consumer Law by misleading hotel pricing representations in its television advertising and website.
The ACCC allege the misleading advertisements aired more than 400,000 times beginning from December 2013.
They ceased airing on April 2018.
The German-based company boasted a global revenue of $1.15 billion from 560 million clicks in the first months of 2018, with Australia being it's biggest market outside Europe and the US.
Trivago’s main source of revenue is the cost-per-click (CPC) payments it receives, where advertisers are charged a fee each time a user clicks on one of their offers.
According to court documents obtained, a search on Trivago's website led consumers to 'form an erroneous belief' the results page contained the lowest prices.
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