- Published on Monday, 13 August 2012 08:14
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The world's largest hotel group has hit back at claims that it unlawfully colluded with online travel agents to fix the prices of its rooms as it posted bumper half year results.
It emerged that, if the allegations are proven, InterContinental Hotels Group could be in line for a record fine of up to £115m.
IHG, which owns Holiday Inn, was formally named by the UK Office of Fair Trading last week for a practice that the group claims is an 'industry standard'. The firm has been the subject of a complex investigation since September 2010.
Chief executive Richard Solomons said that the practice is not unusual, though insisted the firm is cooperating fully with the OFT probe.
"We take competition law very seriously," said Mr Solomons.
A 300 page 'statement of objection' was served on IHG last week, outlining the OFT's accusations.
Expedia is not liable to a fine because it has opted to cooperate with the probe and will receive lenient treatment.
The OFT confirmed that InterContinental could be in line for a fine of up to 10% of its global revenues and hinted that the practices under scrutiny could be widespread in the hotels business.