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French hotels fined for price fixing

30 November 2005

Six of Paris' most prestigious hotels have been fined nearly half a million pounds, after they were found to have been colluding over prices by the French competition watchdog.

Following a four year investigation by the French Council of Competition, the Bristol, the Crillon, the George V, the Meurice, the Plaza Athenee and the Ritz were fined a total of €709,000 (£485,000).

The Starwood Capital-owned Crillon was handed the biggest fine of €248,000 (£169,905), followed by Four Seasons' George V with €115,000 (£78,786), the Plaza Athenee €106,000 (£72,621), the Ritz €104,000 (£71,251), the Bristol €81,000 (£55,494) and the Meurice €55,000 (£37,684).

France's competition board found that the hotels had been exchanging confidential commercial information in a series of regular meetings and exchanges.

The average price of a room at the group of hotels is around €700 (£480), with the cheapest costing €500 (£343) and a suite costing up to €6,000 (£4,111).

Under competition law the hotels have a right to appeal the decision at the Tribunal de Paris.

By Emily Manson

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