Marriott Fined $600,000 For Blocking WiFi Access To Force People To Pay It For Internet Access

JONATHAN TURLEY

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I am happily ensconced this morning at that beautiful Villa Pinciana not far from the Roman steps in Roma, Italy. Besides the beauty of this location and this hotel, one other thing is likely to stand out for American travelers not just at this but virtually all hotels in this country: free wifi. As many of you know, I have long complained about the practice of high-end hotels charging ridiculous fees for wifi while cheaper hotels (and countless coffee shops, restaurants, and other establishments) offer it for free.(Here and here and here) It is an open gouging of business travelers but these hotels which are charging hundreds of a night only to demand that guests pay them for something free on the street. Now there is a small victory against the corporate greed of high-end hotels. Marriott has agreed to pay a $600,000 fine after the Federal Communications…

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