Hotel rate parity lives on
By Harvey Chipkin
With the recent dismissal of an antitrust case accusing hoteliers and online travel sellers of price-fixing, the practice of hotel rate parity is likely to live on – for now. Rate parity is the industry-wide practice of hotel chains setting and controlling the “best available rates” offered through various distribution channels. Rate parity does not involve hotel companies setting prices in collusion with competitors. A ‘rational’ business practice Last month a federal judge in Dallas dismissed a consolidated class action suit brought against major hotel companies and online travel sellers, including Orbitz, Priceline and Expedia. The suit accused Starwood, InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott, among others, of conspiring with OTAs to set prices.