The beginning of a consultation process follows Expedia's $703 million takeover of Wotif last year, which resulted in a jump in commission rates at the major online travel agents to 15 per cent from 12 per cent previously. Global giants Expedia and Priceline, the owner of, now control about 80 per cent of the market for online hotel bookings in Australia. The price parity clauses restrict hotels from offering a room for a lower price on their own website than they do through the online travel agents, even though the online travel agents collect a 15 per cent commission on each booking. They also ensure the last free room at the hotel is part of the available inventory of the online travel agents. Accommodation Association of Australia chairman Richard Munro said such clauses had been of concern for some time, but they were exacerbated by the Wotif takeover, which had turned online bookings into a duopoly on the level of supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths. Get the full story at The Sydney Morning Herald