Why the Priceline plan to buy Kayak should be investigated by regulators
If Priceline was to buy Kayak, my concern is that Priceline’s worldwide cottage industry of rate parity monitors would evolve into a largely automated process, price disparities picked up and dealt with in real time.
NB: This is a viewpoint from Dorian Harris, founder of hotel booking site Skoosh.
A UK competition regulator, The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), is being kept busy in the travel space right now.
One division is acting on my own complaint that online travel agencies are conspiring to preclude price competition through the enforcement of uniform pricing or “rate parity”, and another is looking into the $1.8 billion acquisition of US price comparison site Kayak by the hotel industry giant, Priceline.