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Travelocity accuses Cleartrip CEO of data theft

Mihir Mishra  |  New Delhi 

Travelocity India has accused Cleartrip Chief Executive Officer Stuart Crighton of conniving with senior officials of Desiya Online Distribution Ltd to commit data theft, which led to a loss of business.

Cleartrip has termed the charges as baseless.

Desiya Online Distribution became a subsidiary of Travelguru after it was acquired by the latter in November 2006. Travelguru was further acquired by Travelocity in August 2009.

In a First Information Report (FIR) filed at a Gurgaon police station, Travelocity has said employees of Desiya Online Distribution Ltd — MD Amit Taneja, Regional Manager (North) Sanjeet Singh and travel consultant Imran Ansari — have passed on data to Cleartrip. The charge is breach of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

"We have filed a criminal complaint and an FIR has been registered. We believe that criminal offences have been committed and there is sufficient evidence to prove the same. I am sure the guilty will be brought to book," a Travelocity spokesperson said.

Cleartrip officials said they were aware of the FIR which names them, but have termed the charges as baseless.

"We are convinced that the said FIR is misconceived, baseless and likely filed with ulterior motives," a Cleartrip spokesperson said. "We have full faith in the judiciary and are extending co-operation to the relevant agencies," he added.

In its FIR, Travelocity has alleged that Taneja shared the "entire hotel business model, projections and other proprietary information with Stuart". The FIR also has a list of alleged email communications between the Cleartrip CEO and Taneja.

Despite repeated attempts, the employees could not be reached for their reactions.

Travelocity offers online travel services and is present in 40 countries, with web sites in 12 languages. It provided $10.1 billion (over Rs 47,000 crore) worth of travel services in 2006. The company acquired Travelguru this year.

Cleartrip.com is one of the top three online travel agencies in India with a 35 per cent market share.

The online travel industry in India is expected to grow to $6 billion (over Rs 28,000 crore) in 2010 in terms of revenues (the value of transactions as opposed to the earnings of travel firms).

First Published: Wed, December 23 2009. 01:03 IST
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