France's Commission d'Examen des Pratiques Commerciales said Web-based reservation agencies should be prevented from demanding that hotels offer their lowest rates only on the agencies' portals. The practice, known in the industry as rate parity, breaches French regulations and should be banned by the government, said Razzy Hammadi, a French lawmaker who heads the commission. The panel's recommendations aren't legally binding but can be offered as evidence in court cases. The commission's proposal targets primarily U.S. online booking companies Expedia Inc. EXPE +2.40% and Priceline.com Inc., PCLN +0.10% the owner of Booking.com. French hotel lobbying groups say the companies often include rate-parity clauses in their contracts, sometimes preventing hoteliers from cutting rates for customers they find directly. "We have lost control over our own pricing policy," said Laurent Duc, a director at UMIH, France's largest hotel trade group. Expedia said it complies with French law. "Expedia offers considerable advantages to hotels by giving them access to an excellent visibility and to a wide client base," the company said. "Consumers benefit from the enhanced competition provided," it said. "This is what should drive the ongoing legislative debate." Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal