Travel Sites Can Dispute Biz Model In Puerto Rico Tax Row

Law360, New York (August 27, 2015, 2:47 PM EDT) -- A Puerto Rico federal judge ruled Thursday that the island’s government-owned tourism company can’t stop Expedia Inc. and other online travel companies from presenting arguments about their “merchant model” in a trial over hotel taxes, finding prior court decisions left room for factual disputes under Puerto Rican law.

U.S. District Judge Jose A. Fuste said the online travel companies, or OTCs, are not collaterally estopped from pushing back against the factual determinations in cases cited by the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., which alleges the OTCs owe hotel room taxes stretching back to 1999. The order came just a day after Judge...

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