U.S. judge dismisses price-fixing claim against hotels, websites
A group of major U.S. hotel chains and online travel companies on Tuesday won the dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit accusing them of an industry-wide conspiracy to fix the online prices of hotel rooms.
U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle in Dallas found that the lawsuit, brought by consumers who claimed they paid inflated prices for their rooms, failed to adequately show that such a conspiracy existed.
Instead, she said, the agreements between each hotel chain and each online operator could be explained by "rational business interests" rather than anti-competitive behavior.
The hotel companies include Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc, InterContinental Hotels Group Plc and Marriott International Inc while the online agencies include Expedia Inc, Orbitz Worldwide Inc and Priceline Com.Inc.