The hotels' Groups360 transaction is the resurrection of StarCite in terms of structure," the person said, referring to the meetings management technology. Many of the major hotels were on the board of StarCite, and surprise, surprise, they discussed rates."

The owner of another industry technology product was told by a group sales rep from a hotel that if the technology company wanted inventory from that hotel company, it soon will have to go through Groups360. "By its essence, it's an anti-competitive stance," the technology owner said. "If five different suppliers say, 'You now have to go through this other place that we own and we'll control the terms and distribution and fees and prices there,' then that's just antitrust. I'm surprised their lawyers didn't catch that before they got into the deal."

Related: Global hotel brands create online marketplace for meetings