Earlier this year, Sabre launched a rate-auditing system that monitors whether hotels are offering the same prices across GDS and Internet booking sites.

"We are still in an orderly pricing environment," said Stephen Fitzgerald, vice president of hotel and car distribution for Sabre. "That doesn?t mean hotels aren?t taking advantage of opaque rate channels, like Hotwire and Priceline, or of opportunities to offer special packages. ... We have not seen, however, the free-for-all, widespread discounting that we saw after 2001."

Fitzgerald said 99% of hotels participating in its Rate Assured audit system are compliant in their promise that rates offered to travel agents in the Sabre GDS are the same or lower than rates offered on websites. About 55% of hotels in the GDS participate, said Fitzgerald, adding that these hotels account for 90% of bookings.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly (free registration)