Federal Government Backs Tourists in Atlantic City Casino Hotel Suit

International news
Federal regulators are backing two tourists who have accused major Atlantic City casino-hotels of collusion, the latest push by competition officials to curb the use of algorithms in price-setting.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department's Antitrust Division filed a statement of interest in the case on Thursday, arguing the hotels' use of the same algorithm may represent collusion.

The case, originally brought in May 2023 by two tourists, named Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International as defendants, among others. The plaintiffs alleged that the competing hotels violated antitrust law by knowingly using the same price-setting algorithm.

The two agencies argued that the company's use of the algorithm can still violate antitrust law even if the companies never directly communicated, responding to one of the legal arguments used by the defendants. The FTC and DOJ also said in their statement that the companies could have still violated U.S. law by using the algorithm to set a starting price, even if they ended up charging different amounts.

The agencies have thrown their weight behind similar cases in the real estate industry.