TripAdvisor should be investigated for possible violations of consumer protection laws for failing to post reviews from travelers who say they were sexually assaulted at Mexican resorts, according to Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin.
“This may be a case of putting profits over providing an open, honest forum for traveler reviews on TripAdvisor,” Ms. Baldwin said in a tweet on Nov. 26. “I called on the F.T.C. to look into this and they should get to the bottom of it.”
It’s unclear if the Federal Trade Commission will act on Ms. Baldwin’s request, first made in a letter earlier this month. The F.T.C. replied that it “will consider the information” that Ms. Baldwin provided, but stopped short of promising a review.
Copies of both letters were provided by Ms. Baldwin’s staff. A spokesman for the F.T.C., Mitchell Katz, said that it “does not confirm or deny any investigations.”
“The question here is whether TripAdvisor was unfairly or deceptively misleading consumers about what they post or the content of the reviews,” said a former high-ranking F.T.C. official who asked not to be identified because he was no longer authorized to speak for the agency. “If the F.T.C. actually launches an investigation it will be fact-intensive, and if a violation is found, the agency can require more accurate disclosures and impose fines.”
TripAdvisor had not been notified of any investigation by the F.T.C. as of Monday, according to Brian Hoyt, a TripAdvisor