Canberra's David taking on the Goliaths of Trivago Mr Richards says Trivago is in fact only displaying the accommodation deals of operators which pay the German company the best price.
He has provided information, including emails with the company, to the Australian Competition and Consumer oakley lenses Commission in a bid to stop what he says are misleading practices by Trivago. That was crucial for Mr Richards military oakley who has helped to raise close to $1 million for SIDS and Kids ACT through his Christmas light displays, in honour of his infant son who died in 2002. Mr Richards was also named an ACT finalist oakley official site in the Australian of the Year Award in 2016 for his charity work. That was because the operator had not paid enough to Trivago to have its price displayed. Even before they got to that point, the operator had to establish a direct connection to Trivago. That goes against Trivago's extensive advertising campaigns in which it promises to search more than 600,000 hotels across 200 sites to find the best deal in an "impartial comparison". "They advertise they are searching the internet and they are not searching the internet. They only display companies that pay them. That's about as stark as it gets," Mr Richards said. "So if another company has a lower price but is not paying them, their price is not displayed. "I don't want any part of it because I believe they are misleading the Australian public." Mr Richards said the fact he refused to pay to be displayed on Trivago would hurt his business. "The problem is if someone believes the Trivago campaign, then they wouldn't look at our site because they believe our site will be displayed on Trivago if we're cheaper. And it won't be," he said. Mr Richards said he wanted to offer an Australian alternative to overseas booking sites. Trivago was majority owned by American company Expedia which also owned Lastminute and Wotif. In a statement, Trivago claimed any correspondence between it and Mr Richards was confidential. Trivago maintained it did not charge operators a fee outlet oakley to be displayed on its site but it did operate a CPC "cost per click" auction "where the advertiser can decide what they are willing to pay for a lead to their website". "Our marketplace works on the assumption that the advertiser knows their own properties best, and should therefore have the flexibility to decide for themselves what hotels they consider to be most beneficial to their business rather than forcing them to pay a flat rate on all their hotels," the statement read. "This serves the advertiser, who can ensure the costs of acquiring a traveller delivers a positive return, but it also serves the traveller who is our first priority. "The CPCs offer an indication to the traveller from the advertiser, as to which hotels they consider to be of better value. This information, along with many other signals on traveller preference, are considered by our algorithm to ensure we serve those offers to the travellers first that are also the most relevant. "We therefore strongly believe that our marketplace helps us to achieve our mission of finding travellers their ideal hotel at the best price." Mr Richards said that ultimately meant different booking sites had to out bid each other to get their prices displayed on Trivago, which, again, went against the premise that all sites were searched and the best deal displayed. "If I say we will pay $1 per click and Wotif say they will pay $1.20 per click, then the Australian public won't even see our cheapest deal because we've been outbid [in the payment to Trivago]," he said.
"Not only that, we would also have to build a connection between ourselves and Trivago even before we start bidding. So there's no searching the internet [by Trivago].".
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