Rate parity: The battle to determine how you buy hotel rooms
by Ed Perkins, Chicago Tribune
Did you ever wonder why a hotel room search returns identical or near-identical results from all the online travel agencies (OTAs) and metasearch engines? One major reason is that hotels and hotel chains typically have "rate parity" agreements with OTAs: Simply put, hotels agree to give the same price to everyone who asks for a given booking. In some ways, rate parity benefits you; in others, it doesn't. Either way, however, rate parity is under challenge and most industry observers believe it will soon either loosen up or disappear entirely.