Brazil Concerned About Hotel Price Hikes For 2014 World Cup
The Brazilian government "is concerned" that some hotels listed on FIFA's website for the 2014 World Cup "plan steep price hikes during the tournament and is reportedly considering investigating the FIFA-appointed agency in charge of accommodation," according to Tales Azzoni of the AP. Brazil's tourism board "has notified the justice ministry" after its research showed that rates "will be up to 500 percent more expensive during the World Cup in some hotels offered by the agency MATCH Services on FIFA's website." In a document, the board said, "It's probable that MATCH is exercising intermediation fees that are a lot higher than usually exercised in the tourism market, harming the rights of potential consumers." MATCH "denied any wrongdoing" on Saturday, saying it "provides a totally transparent price structure." The Switzerland-based company "is primarily responsible for contracting and delivering accommodation for the FIFA community," including its officials, delegates, guests and staff. It also "sells rooms to FIFA's commercial affiliates, the media and customers of the official hospitality program." Rooms "are offered to the general public through the FIFA website operated and maintained by MATCH." MATCH "may also reportedly be targeted by Brazil's antitrust agency for potential violation of free competition rules." The Valor Economico newspaper "has said that prosecutors have already asked the agency to investigate the company's operations." MATCH "has vehemently defended itself," saying "it is incorrect to suggest" that the hotels it signed a contract with in Brazil are overcharging (AP, 8/17).