Expedia Against 'Search Discrimination'... Unless It Gets To Do The Discriminating
from the hello-hypocrites dept
That's because Expedia is a leading member of a lobbying group called FairSearch, which was set up mainly to protest Google's planned acquisition of ITA. Both sides on that fight have been bombarding me with press releases/articles on a near daily basis, all of which I've ignored, because it's a silly fight. However, considering that Expedia is one of the main members of the group, and one of the key points that the group is supposedly fighting for is protesting "search discrimination," the whole thing rings a little hypocritical. From the FairSearch website:
TRANSPARENCY: Consumers -- not search engines -- should choose winners in the marketplace. Consumers benefit from more choices in the search marketplace competing to win users, innovating to improve products and displaying results transparently. When search providers engage in search discrimination -- manipulating search results to promote a favored product and punish competitors -- consumers pay the price.This comes just one paragraph above a nice Expedia logo:
All that said, I'm a bit confused about this entire dispute. What's to stop Orbitz from simply getting American Airlines fares from wherever it wants to get them and including them? The data is factual data, not subject to American Airlines' control, so I don't even see how AA can legally stop Orbitz from including it. The real issue, it seems, is that AA wants Orbitz and others to get their data directly, rather than via middlemen, but the way to do that is to make it easy for the travel search engines to do that in a way that's more convenient and cheaper than getting it through any middlemen. Not sure why that requires a legal dispute...