Meanwhile, in this report released by OFT yesterday, the 3 businesses they were investigating have proposed relaxing each’s restrictions so that other OTAs might further discount rates offered to consumers, at least for so-called “room only” rate bookings. However, it appears that those under investigation may be trying to slip one past the fair trading people in suggesting other OTAs may discount rates via said online travel agencies discounting via their respective “commissions”, this might exclude hotels themselves from undercutting prices. At the crux of this situation is the fact hotels are forced into a rate parity vacuum by some online booking agencies in a sort of “guarantee” system whereby Expedia or other companies are litrerally guaranteed the best possible price, thereby warding off any competition save the most visible marketing channels competing. To better understand as consumers, what exactly “rate parity” is, it’s necessary to understand the idea from both a hotelier perspective and an OTA perspective. Get the full story at Everything PR, The Guardian, UK's Office of Fair Trading, and IHG Group