8 years ago

Trivago threatens TripAdvisor with legal action over brand name bidding

Trivago and TripAdvisor could be squaring up for a battle of the review sites in the European courts after it emerged today that one is accusing the other of bidding on its brand name on Google.

The row centres on marketing activity through pay-per-click advertising in Germany, where Trivago is a significant player in the online hotel review space alongside TripAdvisor.

Trivago says the Expedia-owned TripAdvisor is bidding on its brand name and using the same term in the headline copy of ads appearing in Google search results.


A Trivago spokeswoman says the practice is currently only taking place on the German version of Google. It is likely to “confuse” consumers searching for Trivago and “clearly violates brand protection laws”, she adds.

TripAdvisor refused to discuss the complaint or its general keyword bidding policy when contacted by Tnooz today.

Trivago says it has submitted a complaint to Google in Germany and contacted TripAdvisor’s parent company, Expedia. A spokeswoman adds:

“We will not tolerate it and will wait for the result of our Google complaint. Depending on the latter we will consider legal action against it.

“TA is using the Trivago brand to direct these highly valuable visitors to their website. In short, this is the same as if Reebok was to sell their shoes in Nike boxes.”

This is not the first time in recent years that travel companies have squared up over various elements of the brand bidding saga.

Lastminute.com CEO Ian McCaig was one of a number of bosses who reacted angrily to Google’s decision in 2008 to change its brand bidding policy in the UK.

However, a threat to sue Google by a conglomerate of travel and other high profile consumer brands never materialised.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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    Since constantly seeing that homeless hobo pitching Trivao on TV, I have tried to use their service four times. Every time I have used their site and gotten prices, I have found better deals on my standard sites: Kayak, Travelocity, hotels.com, Hotwire, Expedia and Orbitz. If you are going to corner yourself in the “absolute best deals on hotels” category, YOU HAD BETTER HAVE THE ABSOLUTE BEST DEALS ON HOTELS, YO! I don’t know why they think they can compete on price when they are not competing on price. In my opinion, they will be out of business in a short time with their dumb investors sitting in the corner crying.

  2. Humphrey hollins

    Never heard of Trivago before, does it have as many bogus hotel reviews as Tripadvisor?

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  5. Raphael

    I would like to comment but I won’t 🙂

  6. AOM

    Well, this clearly shows Tripadvisor considers trivago a major competitor, but where are Trip advisor’s ethical values I wonder?! I am sure the law will find a proper punishment for this brand theft!! By doing things as such Tripadvisor’s brand power will diminish, so the punishment is doubled which is another punishment I believe.

  7. Guillaume

    Good luck on Trivago on this one!

    There are so many more established brands online of offline who have tried this before without gaining anything out of this. But I praise these companies who try to make sure the bidding words game on search engines is fair.

    Can you imagine if Trivago would do the same to TripAdviso

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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Darren Cronian, Kevin May. Kevin May said: Here we go again!! Trivago threatens TripAdvisor with legal action over brand name bidding | Tnooz http://bit.ly/TZmDG […]


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