Posts Tagged ‘Office of Fair Trading’

Deranged Marriages, Sanity on Trial

Next week we’ll come to the final chapter of a story crazy enough to rival Catch 22 and Alice in Wonderland. It started with a call from the Fairest Authority in the Land (F.A.i.L), travelled across the Atlantic to the States, back across to continental Europe, and concludes next week in a court case where […]

Closing Letter to the Office of Fair Trading

Hi Ingrid, Thank you for taking the time last week to try and explain the proposal you have put forward on behalf of Expedia, Booking.com and IHG. I still don’t understand it I’m afraid. I don’t understand how you expect it to work practically and I don’t understand how it can possibly be seen as […]

Open Letter to Martin Couchman, Deputy Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association

Dear Martin, Further to our recent conversation, I understand that it is awkward for you to involve the British Hospitality Association in the ongoing price fixing investigation in the hotel industry because many of your members are unsure about their legal standing. I now feel that’s exactly why you need to step in. As we […]

Another Final Open Letter to Clive Maxwell, Executive Director Office of Fair Trading

Dear Mr. Maxwell, Thank you again for taking the time to reply. Whilst I understand that the OFT doesn’t necessarily agree with the complainant about the nature of the problem nor indeed the solution, I am afraid that’s not a satisfactory response in this case because the OFT clearly hasn’t understood the industry. The net […]

Final Open Letter to Clive Maxwell, Executive Director Office of Fair Trading

Dear Mr. Maxwell, Thank you for kindly replying to my last open letter. Since you wrote I have been petitioned by lawyers, economists, and high ranking officials in the travel industry to respond to your team’s proposal to ensure that it doesn’t get through unchallenged. However, I can’t find it in myself to respond or […]

Open Letter to Clive Maxwell, Executive Director Office of Fair Trading

Dear Clive, I hope you don’t mind my writing to you publicly but I feel this is an issue of public and national importance. Three years ago I complained to the Office of Fair Trading (O.F.T.) that my competitors (primarily Expedia and Booking.com) were routinely policing the internet for companies undercutting them and closing down […]

Priceline, Kayak and other family matters.

Incest has a bad rep and you can see why. It often results in the spawning of children with weird defects like underdeveloped limbs or oversized heads. Take the royal family for example or the U.S. hotel giant Priceline. There is speculation in the media today that Priceline’s acquisition of the price comparison site, Kayak, […]

Rate Parity – The End Game

I’ve told the press that I think the days of rate parity are coming to an end but, with one exception, they’ve yet to quote me so it looks like I’m going to have to say it myself. As you may imagine I’ve been following the recent developments in the world of hotel price fixing […]

Open letter to William Baer, Arnold & Porter LLP

Dear William, I have been reading with great interest your nomination to head up the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. Particularly significant to me was to hear your stance on resale price maintenance with respect to the Leegin case. Some background. Skoosh is a small U.K. based online travel agent (O.T.A.) specializing in hotel bookings. Until […]

Rate Parity: A Story with Legs

Soon after I started my campaign against rate parity, which my school friend and industry colleague Pete calls my cause célèbre (I prefer ‘obsession du jour’ but we were both in bottom set French so don’t quote either of us) I realised that ‘resale price maintenance’, the correct terminology, just wasn’t attractive so I switched […]