Orbitz Worldwide Inc., the online travel service, won the right to keep its rates for Indiana hotels from public disclosure in a state-court tax dispute.
The company asked the Indiana Tax Court to bar public access to contracts it had with three hotels in the state, claiming this information is proprietary.
In an Oct. 16 ruling, the court agreed, despite a general rule in Indiana that anything submitted to public entities should be accessible by the public.
The court determined that the rates constituted information with economic value that’s not generally known by the public and that Orbitz took “reasonable efforts” to maintain secrecy.
As such, the rates fell within the state’s definition of a trade secret and deserved a mandatory exception to the public disclosure policy, the court said.
The case is Orbitz LLC v. Indiana Department of state Revenue, 49T10-0903-TA-10, Indiana Tax Court.
With the assistance of Aoife White in Brussels and Susan Decker in Washington. Editors: Andrew Dunn and Fred Strasser.
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