They allege so-called bed banks have routed some of the discounted inventory through online travel agencies that disguise the origin of the discounts and offer them to the public without permission.

Some hoteliers argued that the spread of wholesale rates online creates a price war on search sites like Google and Trivago, pulling down overall prices.

Hotelbeds, the largest middleman for wholesale hotel inventory, has bristled at such complaints, which it has said are unfounded.