Reed Elsevier is locked in a legal wrangle with Microsoft over
advertising revenue on a travel website.
Reed had been collaborating with Microsoft on the software giant’s
Expedia site, providing information for an online hotel directory via
its Cahners division. Now Reed says Microsoft violated an agreement
signed in 1998 under which Microsoft and Cahners were supposed to split
revenue from hotel-related advertising.
While full details of the row have not been released, it is understood
that Cahners is claiming it has not got its full cut. Reed Elsevier has
filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and Expedia in the US.
A spokesperson for London-based Reed Elsevier said she could not comment
on what was ’essentially a trade issue being contested in the US’. She
added that the company did not know when the case would go to trial.
Reed claims Microsoft and Expedia breached their obligations to Cahners,
including violating Cahners’ exclusive right to sell hotel-related ad
space on the site. It is seeking monetary and punitive damages, as well
as an injunction prohibiting Microsoft selling hotel directory
advertising in the future.
The lawsuit also alleges conversion and misappropriation of Cahners’
hotel database and unfair competition.
Expedia publicly disclosed the lawsuit in a regulatory filing with the
US Securities and Exchange Commission, in connection with its initial
public offering. Expedia described the legal action as ’unfortunate’.