Columbus reaches settlement, ending dispute with Expedia - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus reaches settlement, ending dispute with Expedia

After six years of court proceedings, the city's fight with online travel website Expedia.com and Hotels.com has come to an end. 

At Tuesday night's city council meeting, members voted to approve the settlement of nearly $1.6 million. The hotel occupancy tax will be paid in full by the online travel companies.

The city will receive a net total of approximately $586,600. 

Columbus hotels have been added back to Expedia and Hotels.com. The hotels were taken off both websites when the online companies were accused of not paying the full amount of hotel occupancy tax fees to the city. The online travel cites denied these allegations and the case went to the Georgia Supreme Court twice.

The city was presented in the litigation by outside council Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison and Norwood, LLP of Columbus and Atlanta and Bryan, Cave of Atlanta. The two law firms are expected to receive $401,000 in legal fees for their work. 

A similar case with website orbitz.com was settled in 2010 with the city receiving a net total of $230,000.

"This settlement will be probably concluded this week and dismissals will be filed and of course it will be up to the individual hotel to request access," Columbus city attorney Clifton Fey said. 

Columbus hotels are expected to be listed back on the two companies website by the end of the week. 

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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