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Publishing group files suit against Microsoft, Expedia

Publishing group Reed Elsevier files suit against Microsoft and Expedia.com, alleging that the two companies breached the terms of a contract.

Publishing group Reed Elsevier today said it has filed suit against Microsoft and Expedia.com, alleging that the two companies breached the terms of a contract.

Microsoft declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Reed Elsevier claims that Expedia, a travel Web site recently spun off from Microsoft, and the software giant itself breached its obligations to Reed Elsevier's Cahners Travel Group by violating Cahners' exclusive rights with respect to providing hotel directory advertising sales support worldwide for the Expedia site. Cahners provided hotel-related information to Expedia.

The suit also alleges conversion and misappropriation of Cahners' proprietary hotel database; unfair competition; breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and interference with business relationships.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, seeks monetary and punitive damages; a permanent injunction requiring Microsoft and Expedia to fully comply with the agreement; and a permanent injunction prohibiting Microsoft and Expedia from selling or competing with Cahners in connection with the sale of hotel directory advertising.

The suit also seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting Microsoft and Expedia from using the hotel database and the return to Cahners of all payments made and information provided under the agreement.

Microsoft is embroiled in a landmark antitrust lawsuit brought against it by the federal government and 19 states.