Hotel chains in the spotlight over accusations of room price fixing Excerpt: Three of the world’s largest hotel chains are at the centre of allegations of price fixing in the wake of media reports of secret agreements to keep the cost of rooms artificially high. Hotels are accused of secretly ordering travel agents not to offer discounted rooms, according to leaked documents. Those cutting the price of hotels beneath the secretly fixed prices are banned from selling rooms in future. The scandal has allegedly stopped some agents reducing the price of hotel rooms at well-known properties around the world by up to 25 per cent. The Office of Fair Trading has started an investigation into price-fixing by hotels and travel agents which could lead to the cost of family holidays falling by hundreds of pounds. If they are found to have fixed prices, the hotel chains could be fined up to ten per cent of their turnover — which could run into tens of millions of pounds each. The Daily Telegraph has seen key documents at the heart of the OFT investigation which purport to disclose how hotel chains including Radisson, Thistle and Starwood are ordering travel agents not to offer discount prices. This newspaper has also spoken to the whistle-blower who has exposed the questionable practice.