State reached a settlement with two hotel
owners and a hotel management company to end their practice of “call-arounds.” According to the state, call-arounds allowed competing
hotels in close proximity to exchange sensitive competitor information at least once a day about occupancy and current room rates that may be used to fix rates for hotel rooms. Owners of Holiday Inn Express and Homewood Suites in two Connecticut cities agreed to stop sharing information and to pay $50,000 civil fine.
State investigated “call-arounds” by hotels, in which when one hotel employee contacts competing hotels and exchanges with them information concerning their respective current room rates and occupancy rates. Such call-arounds or information exchanges generally happen multiple times daily by phone or internet. this information is not otherwise public. The state alleged that competitors of La Quinta have used call-around information to raise their prices on a regular basis, violating the Connecticut Antitrust Act. Defendants agreed to end the practice in their hotel chain, which operates five hotels in Connecticut. La Quinta’s agreement to end call-arounds covers all La Quinta hotels nationally. The prohibition does not prevent hotels from reviewing commercially available reports and information, communicating with any other hotel or motel on behalf of a specific guest seeking to relocate, or communicating with any other hotel/motel to accommodate guests in the event of a state of emergency, disaster or similar situation.
State investigated the practices of Starwood, related to its operation of hotels competing in the downtown Seattle convention and large group markets. The state’s concern focused on Starwood’s management of the only two large convention hotels in Seattle, which were independently owned, and whether groups were receiving competitive bids from each hotel.