We thought the story of Rate Fixing in the hotel industry was dead and buried after the Office of Fair trading closed the investigation in 2013. However it would seem that a company called Skyscanner has successfully appealed this decision and the whole affair is likely to be re-opened.
For anyone coming new to this subject two of the major OTA's were referred to the Office Of Fair Trading following a complaint by a company called Skoosh alleging that hotel room prices are being 'fixed' (This practise is more commonly known as Rate Parity in the hotel industry).
After an investigation it would appear that an agreement was made that allowed OTA's (and hotels) to offer different rates to guests who had previously booked online with them once before. ie within a Closed User Group. Many OTA's already had 'Closed User Groups' or 'Frequent Customer Programs' and this caused many of the hotels (or at least the Booking Engine Software Suppliers) to think about creating one also.
However in early October Skyscanners successful appeal has thrown a spanner in the works and we can expect another period of uncertainty whilst the practise of 'Rate Parity' is investigated.
See more details HERE