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ACCC scrutiny prompts cheaper hotel rooms

AAP logoAAP 2/09/2016

Travellers may be able to get cheaper hotel stays after Expedia and Booking.com amended their contracts with Australian accommodation providers following an investigation by the competition watchdog.

Hotels had been compelled to offer both travel websites the same price and were not allowed to advertise the same room for less, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigated complaints the so-called parity clauses were uncompetitive.

The online agents have now removed the restrictions so hotels can offer lower rates, for example through telephone bookings and walk-ins, as well as offer special rates and deals to loyalty groups.

"These parity clauses were anti-competitive as they stopped consumers from getting different prices from competing online sites," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

"Australian accommodation providers will now be able to tailor their offers to better meet the needs of their customers and their own businesses requirements."

The new agreements took effect on Thursday.

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