man looking at a laptop with a data algorithm possibly luxury hotel room price

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Hyatt Hotels Corp. are among a group of hotel chain operators accused of inflating the cost of luxury hotel rooms with help from a price-setting database.

Hotel room renters allege in a lawsuit they paid higher prices for luxury hotel rooms because of an agreement between the hotel chains to share competitively sensitive information about their prices, supply, and future plans through an intermediary. The intermediary is Smith Travel Research, a division of CoStar Group Inc., according to a Tuesday complaint filed in US District Court for the Western District of Washington.

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Other defendants named in the suit include Inter-Continental Hotels Corp., Marriott International Inc., and Accor Management, whose luxury hotel brands include Fairmont and Orient Express. STR, also a defendant in the case along with CoStar, allegedly provided the chains with visibility in hotel pricing information and allowed competitors to set prices higher than they would have been absent an agreement.

“The agreement to regularly exchange detailed and non-public information about current supply and pricing suppressed competition between the defendants,” according to the suit. “The information exchanges allowed defendant hotel operators to compare their prices and occupancy with their competitors and to raise prices when they were lower than competitors.”

Read the full article at BloomBerg