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Hotel Rankings of Online Travel Agents, Channel Pricing, and Consumer Protection


Hunold, Matthias; Kesler, Reinhold; Laitenberger, Ulrich (2020). Hotel Rankings of Online Travel Agents, Channel Pricing, and Consumer Protection. Marketing Science, 39(1):92-116.

Abstract

We investigate whether online travel agents (OTAs) assign hotels worse positions in their search results if these set lower hotel prices elsewhere. We investigate whether online travel agents (OTAs) assign hotels worse positions in their search results if these set lower hotel prices at other OTAs or on their own websites. We formally characterize how an OTA can use such a strategy to reduce price differentiation across distribution channels. Our empirical analysis shows that the position of a hotel in the search results of OTAs is better when the prices charged by the hotel on other channels are higher. This is consistent with the hypothesis that OTAs alter their search results to discipline hotels for aggressive prices on competing channels, thereby reducing the search quality for consumers.

Abstract

We investigate whether online travel agents (OTAs) assign hotels worse positions in their search results if these set lower hotel prices elsewhere. We investigate whether online travel agents (OTAs) assign hotels worse positions in their search results if these set lower hotel prices at other OTAs or on their own websites. We formally characterize how an OTA can use such a strategy to reduce price differentiation across distribution channels. Our empirical analysis shows that the position of a hotel in the search results of OTAs is better when the prices charged by the hotel on other channels are higher. This is consistent with the hypothesis that OTAs alter their search results to discipline hotels for aggressive prices on competing channels, thereby reducing the search quality for consumers.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business and International Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Marketing
Language:English
Date:January 2020
Deposited On:26 Nov 2020 15:20
Last Modified:27 Nov 2020 21:01
Publisher:Informs - The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
ISSN:0732-2399
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1287/mksc.2019.1167
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:18312

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