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Hagens Berman Appointed Lead Counsel in Hotel Price-fixing Case



       Hagens Berman Appointed Lead Counsel in Hotel Price-fixing Case

PR Newswire

SEATTLE, March 1, 2013

SEATTLE, March 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, a
consumer-protection law firm, today announced that it has been named interim
lead counsel in a price-fixing class-action lawsuit brought against several
online travel sites including Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE); Travelocity;
Booking.com, a subsidiary of Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN), as well as many of
the nation's largest hotel operators including Hilton Hotel; Sheraton Hotels
and Resorts, a subsidiary of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT),
and Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR).

The suit -- originally filed Aug. 20, 2012, in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California and later consolidated in the Northern
District of Texas -- seeks to represent a class of hotel-room purchasers
nationally, claiming that the online hotel retailers conspired with major
hotel defendants to craft a secret agreement designed to thwart competition on
hotel room prices, especially from smaller price-cutting online retailers.

U.S. District Court Judge Jane J. Boyle today announced that Hagens Berman
Sobol Shapiro is best suited to lead the case after a highly competitive
process in which nearly two dozen firms sought the lead-counsel position.

As lead counsel, HBSS managing partner Steve W. Berman will lead the case,
managing the strategy and marshaling the resources of the law firms
participating.

"We are very pleased that the court chose us to represent consumers in this
case," Berman said. "I believe our extensive work in researching these sorts
of anti-competitive agreements between online retailers and hotel chains lead
the judge to make his pick over many other firms who sought the role by simply
mirroring the hard work of others.

"We thank the more than 20 law firms that supported our motion for lead
counsel," Berman added.

The suit claims that as new models emerged in which third-party companies buy
up unsold blocks of rooms and resell them to price-cutting online retailers,
hotels -- fearing competition -- conspired to crush the practice by creating
agreements that mandated minimum hotel room prices for online retailers. The
suit also contends that hotels that did not agree to the pricing scheme were
frozen out of the online marketplace.

Hagens Berman is continuing to investigate these allegations. Individuals with
additional information, or consumers who purchased a hotel room from an online
travel company, can contact Hagens Berman by calling (206) 623-7292 or by
emailing hotelantitrust@hbsslaw.com.

A complete list of the defendant online retailers and hotels is available at
www.hbsslaw.com/HotelAntitrust.

About Hagens Berman
Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP represents workers,
whistleblowers, investors and consumers in complex litigation. The firm has
offices in Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Los Angeles,
Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Founded in
1993, HBSS has been named one of the top plaintiffs' law firms in the country
by the National Law Journal five times. More about the law firm and its
successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Visit the firm's class-action law
blog at www.classactionlawtoday.com.

Media Contact: Mark Firmani, Firmani + Associates Inc., 206.443.9357 or
mark@firmani.com

SOURCE Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

Website: http://www.hbsslaw.com
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