The U.K.'s Office of Fair Trade (OFT) is currently evaluating and accepting public comments on whether formal commitments proposed by Booking.com B.V. (Booking.com), Expedia Inc (Expedia) and InterContinental Hotels Group plc (IHG) sufficiently address its competition concerns regarding the online offering of room only hotel accommodations by Online Travel Agents. The OFT is soliciting feedback on whether the proposed commitments offer an immediate and effective means of injecting meaningful competition into the online bookings.
What these commitments will mean for pricing parity in the future remains to be seen. Stay tuned for more updates in the weeks ahead.
The United Kingdom's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a Statement of Objections this Tuesday alleging that industry giants Booking.com, Expedia, Inc. and InterContinental Hotels Group violated the UK’s Competition Act of 1998. The Statement of Objections will not be made public, but from OFT’s comments, its rate parity and best rate guarantees that are causing the trouble.
Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.