Sunday, November 23, 2008

Priceline pays fine for breaking Cuba sanctions

The Associated Press November 4, 2008, 2:14PM ET
Priceline pays fine for breaking Cuba sanctions
NEW YORK Inc. has become at least the second online travel company
to get slapped with a fine from the federal government for violating
U.S. sanctions on Cuba.

Priceline, based in Norwalk, Conn., agreed to pay $12,250 after an
internal audit revealed one of its foreign subsidiaries provided
"limited travel services to Cuban nationals," company spokesman Brian Ek
said Tuesday. Ek said he could not reveal where the Cubans were
traveling to or from.

He said the company reported the violation voluntarily.

A statement from the Treasury Department said a subsidiary of Priceline
"provided travel-related services in which Cuba or Cuban nationals had
an interest."

Treasury Department spokesman Andrew DeSouza would not comment on why
Priceline's settlement was so much less than the $182,750 paid by LP in a similar case last year.

In that case, Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control said
Travelocity violated the sanctions on Cuba nearly 1,500 times between
January 1998 and April 2004, a first for an online travel agency.

The department said Priceline violated regulations on Cuba between
September 2004 and November 2007 but did not say in how many instance

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