Office of Fair Trading opens consultation in online travel case

theflyonthewall.com

The United Kingdom's Office of Fair Trading announced on Friday that it opened a consultation on commitments proposed by priceline.com's (PCLN) Booking.com, Expedia (EXPE) and InterContinental Hotels (IHG), designed to address its competition concerns in relation to the online offering of room only hotel accommodation bookings by Online Travel Agents. "The three businesses under investigation are proposing to address the OFT's concerns by giving formal commitments that would relax existing restrictions so that OTAs can provide discounts on the rate at which room only hotel accommodation bookings are offered. Under the proposed commitments, OTAs would be free to use their commission revenue or margin to fund discounts to consumers who meet certain criteria," the agency said.

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