When the French parliament voted in late summer to reform the country’s laws governing business competition, much focus was on the wide-ranging reforms introduced by France’s new young (he is 37) economic minister Emmanuel Macron, who promised to shake-up the French economy via such measures as extending Sunday trading and liberalising parts of the trans­port system. But within the controversial new legislation was also a surprise addition: a ground-breaking law to end alleged ‘price-fixing’ agreements in France covering the way in which hotel rooms are sold online. France has become the first country in Europe to outlaw the system known as ‘rate parity’ between hotels and online travel agents (OTAs), such as Expedia and Booking.com, which for a decade or more has become widespread throughout the hospitality industries in Europe, the US and many other countries. Yet the regulatory pressure on rate parity comes amid a wider flux in the online hotel distribution sphere, as the big OTAs get even bigger – Expedia, for example, this year has added smaller rivals Orbitz and Travelocity to its portfolio. And the rise of accommodation bookings made on mobile devices is also changing the game, particularly as many of these will probably be outside corporate travel policy and via an OTA. Get the full story at Buying Business Travel Read also "An in-depth look at France’s “Macron Law” on OTA/hotel relationships"