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Lastminute gets lumped in with naughty travel agents

Trading standards denies investigation

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Trading Standards has issued a statement denying that it is investigating Lastminute.com.

This morning the Daily Express reported that the government body was investigating a number of online firms for publishing misleading prices, and named Lastminute as one of them.

The travel site immediately denied any wrongdoing, saying that the old "bait and trap" technique - where low prices are advertised, but are not actually available - was "totally alien to us". Co-founder Brent Hoberman said that it was only in the company's interest to show offers that were available.

Bruce Treloar, the Trading Standards Institute spokesman on package travel regulations, said there was no investigation into online travel firms. "I did say that an investigation is going on into fluid pricing in holiday brochures," he commented.

Fluid pricing describes the practise of raising prices above those published in brochures as demand increases. ®

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