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UK government investigates hotel booking sites for “high-pressure tactics,” unfair pricing

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Mattie Wright
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The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) watchdog is investigating business practices in the hotel comparison website industry, to see if consumers are getting shafted with high-pressure sales tactics and deceptive deals.

The investigation follows a year-long study of the hotel booking market, and examines four main areas of concern.

The CMA wants to see if discount deals and search results are accurate, and aren’t influenced by previously higher prices, or by how much commission the hotel pays, respectively.

Another focus is the presence of “high-pressure tactics:” are hotel booking sites misleading consumers about demand or availability, in order to coerce a quick sale?

Finally, are sites upfront with any additional fees, showing them as early as possible in the pricing?

The CMA has written to companies across the sector, although it hasn’t disclosed what sites it’s contacted.

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Mattie Wright
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