That’s the primary accusation made in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the TravelPass Group, an online travel agency.

However, there seems to be a flaw in the argument, at least according to a recently filed motion to dismiss, which points out that any lack of competition for branded keywords would, if anything, benefit TravelPass, making it easier and cheaper for the company to win a bidding contest.

According to the hotel chains, TravelPass creatively constructed what they term a ‘secondary’ conspiracy, involving vertical, bilateral restrictions in individual distribution agreements between the hotels and OTAs.