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United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division
March 21, 2019, Decided; March 21, 2019, Filed
Case No. 18 C 1959
[*826] AMENDED MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Karen Tichy ("Plaintiff"), on behalf of herself and a putative class of consumers, brings two claims against Defendants Hyatt Hotels Corporation ("Hyatt"), Hilton Domestic Operating Company Inc. ("Hilton"), Six Continents Hotels, Inc. ("Six Continents"), Marriott International, Inc. ("Marriott"), and Wyndham Hotel Group LLC ("Wyndham"), all of which are major U.S. hotel chains. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated the Sherman Act's prohibition on contracts or conspiracies in restraint of trade, 15 U.S.C. § 1. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants conspired to stop using certain forms of branded keyword search advertising on the Internet, thereby increasing the costs of searching for and booking hotel rooms online. In Count I, Plaintiff alleges a per se violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1. In Count II, Plaintiff alleges, in the alternative, an unreasonable restraint on [**3] trade in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1. Defendants now move to dismiss both counts of Plaintiff's complaint. For the following reasons, Defendants' motion is denied.
The following facts are taken from Plaintiff's First Amended Class Action Complaint and recounted in the light most favorable to Plaintiff. See, e.g., Forgue v. City of Chicago, 873 F.3d 962, 966 (7th Cir. 2017).
A. The Parties
Plaintiff is a resident of Clarksville, Virginia. (First Amended Class Action Complaint  ("First Am. Compl.") ¶ 15.) She used the Internet to search for, reserve, and purchase hotel rooms from one or more of the Defendants in the United States in 2015, 2016, and 2017. (Id. ¶¶ 1, 15.)
Defendant Hyatt is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Illinois. (Id. ¶ 16.) Hyatt controls thirteen hotel brands, including 739 properties in fifty-seven countries. (Id.) Defendant Hilton is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Virginia. (Id. ¶ 17.) Hilton's parent controls 5,168 hotels in 103 countries and territories. (Id.) Defendant Six Continents is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Georgia. (Id. ¶ 18.) Six Continents' parent, InterContinental Hotels Group, PLC ("IHG") controls 5,273 hotels [**4] in nearly 100 countries. (Id.) Defendant Marriott is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Maryland. (Id. ¶ 19.) [*827] Marriott controls more than 6,000 hotels in 122 countries and territories. (Id.) Defendant Wyndham is a Delaware corporation with its primary place of business in New Jersey. (Id. ¶ 20.) The Wyndham chain is the largest hotel company in the world. (Id.) It controls more than 8,300 hotels worldwide. (Id.) Collectively, Defendants "control a substantial percentage of available hotel rooms in the United States." (Id. ¶ 61.)
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
376 F. Supp. 3d 821 *; 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46511 **; 201-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) P80,714
KAREN TICHY, Plaintiff, v. HYATT HOTELS CORPORATION, HILTON DOMESTIC OPERATING COMPANY INC., SIX CONTINENTS HOTELS, INC., MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC., and WYNDHAM HOTEL GROUP, LLC, Defendants.
Subsequent History: As Amended March 22, 2019.
advertising, hotel, keywords, alleges, branded, consumers, Defendants', bidding, conspiracy, prices, hotel room, website, online, antitrust, competitors, restrictions, searches, customer, unilaterally, presentation, top, bookings, search engine, meetings, marks, anticompetitive, reasons, quotation, economic interest, costs
Civil Procedure, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Antitrust & Trade Law, Clayton Act, Claims, Sherman Act, Scope, Regulated Practices, Private Actions, Private Actions, Sherman Act, Evidence, Types of Evidence, Types of Evidence, Circumstantial Evidence, Torts, Concerted Action, Civil Conspiracy, Elements, Inferences & Presumptions, Inferences, Price Fixing & Restraints of Trade, Multiple Defendants, Civil Conspiracy, Weight & Sufficiency, Standing, Purchasers, Standing, Requirements, Clayton Act, Purchasers, Direct Purchasers, Responses, Motions to Dismiss