Several Massachusetts hotel operators reached a settlement with Attorney General Martha Coakley on Thursday that includes assurances that they will stop potential anticompetitive pricing practices.
Nine hotel operators allegedly were sharing information to fix or stabilize prices. Employees of the hotels allegedly were calling each other to exchange information about nonpublished room rates as well as occupancy rates. In some of these cases, hotel management allegedly would raise their prices if it was found that competitors had limited rooms available.
The hotel operators include: Morgan Hotel Group Management LLC, Pyramid Advisors LP, Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group LLC, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Seaport Hotel Limited Partnership, HHLP Bulfinch Associates LLC, Marriott International, Inc., Pacific Boston Holdings Corp., and Omni Hotels Management Corporation.
“Hotel operators exchanging this sort of nonpublic information can lead to higher prices and a less competitive market,” Coakley said. “We are pleased that these defendants have agreed to stop this practice so that consumers are protected from paying artificially high room rates.”
Three of the hotel operators will pay $45,000 in civil penalties as part of the settlement.