The dimming problem flickered to life this spring, after hotels won a series of court victories in Europe that effectively allowed them to offer lower rates on their own websites, according to Dori Stein, the chief executive of Fornova, a technology company that works with hotels. Previously, hotels had contracts with online agencies that gave the agencies’ sites their best rates. “Online travel agencies retaliated by dimming,” Stein said. The practice quickly spread to affect properties in the United States, where the requirement to offer a better rate was dropped after the rulings in Europe. Expedia, Stein said, is the most prominent dimmer in the travel business, while has lowered the rankings of some hotels but hasn’t removed their pictures. Booking did not respond to repeated requests for a comment. Expedia acknowledged that it is lowering the rankings of some hotels but said it was for the benefit of the customer. “We want to make sure the hotels with the best rates and inventory are put first,” said Melissa Maher, a senior vice president at Expedia. “We’re doing it because we’re consumer-focused.” Get the full story at The Huffington Post