December 17, 2012

Switzerland probes, Expedia and HRS on hotel rate parity

Switzerland’s Competition Commission announced December 11 that it launched an investigation into the practices of the three online travel agencies, all of which sell hotel rooms in Switzerland.

Switzerland has followed in the footsteps of the UK and began a probe of the rate parity practices of several online travel agencies, including, Expedia and Hotel Reservation Service.

Switzerland’s Competition Commission stated it suspects that the OTAs best-rate guarantees - Bestpreisgarantien - with hotels, and additional contract terms pertaining to room availability “could constitute illegal restraints.”

Under these rate parity rules, the OTAs require hotels to give them their lowest rates, and they are barred from offering discounted rates elsewhere, including on the hotels’ own websites.

Get the full story at