This week’s Update features yet another story about Hopper as well as an important update on the future of keyword restrictions. Enjoy.
Marriott Goes to Trial
(“Marriott Loses Bid for More Time Ahead of TravelPass Trial,” October 20, 2021 via Law360 – Competition) (subscription may be required)
Marriott’s efforts to postpone the start of trial in the TravelPass matter were derailed last week. While the recent court ruling was entirely procedural in nature (Marriott sought to postpone the start of trial to allow the court additional time to review earlier decisions on the applicable anti-trust standards), the case and its ultimate outcome are something to watch. Among the many issues to be decided at trial is the question of whether agreements between hoteliers and their distribution partners prohibiting the distributors’ use of keywords is permitted under applicable U.S. antitrust law. Of the many initially named defendants (Choice, Wyndham, Hilton, Caesars, Red Roof, Hyatt and Six Continents), only Marriott has elected to proceed to trial. Expect additional updates in the near future as trial is set to begin on Monday, November 1st, and the court prepares to issue several key preliminary rulings regarding the applicable legal standards.