Paris luxury hotels to appeal price-fixing fine

29th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 29 (AFP) - One of the six Paris luxury hotels collectively fined EUR 700,000 for price-fixing said Tuesday it would appeal the decision, and the director of two of the other hotels said he was inclined to do the same.

PARIS, Nov 29 (AFP) - One of the six Paris luxury hotels collectively fined EUR 700,000 for price-fixing said Tuesday it would appeal the decision, and the director of two of the other hotels said he was inclined to do the same.

"Once we have received the decision, we will definitely appeal," said Didier le Calvez, director of the George V, one of the most prestigious -- and expensive -- hotels in Paris.

Accused by France's Competition Council of running an oligopolistic cartel at the top of the Paris hotel market, the six hotels were hit with fines ranging from 81,000 euros for the Bristol to 248,000 euros for the Crillon.

A standard off-season room at the Crillon costs EUR 500 a night, a typical price at the six hotels known in French as the "palaces."

Le Calvez denied any wrongdoing. "We have never, ever discussed pricing and strategy with our colleagues. I say this categorically," he said by telephone.

Francois Delahaye, director of operations for the Dorchester group, which owns the Meurice and the Plaza Athenee, said he, too, "was inclined to go forward with an appeal.

"There is no collusion towards a common strategy," he insisted, also by phone.

The Crillon, flagship hotel of the Concorde Group, is more inclined to appeal the amount of the fine rather than the judgment itself, said Françoise Parguel, communications director for the group.

Parguel pointed out that the fine was fixed at on 0.19 percent of turnover for each hotel, far below the maximum allowable, ten percent. The Crillon is contesting the fact that their fine was pegged to the revenue of the entire Concorde group and not just the hotel in question.

No one at the sixth hotel, the Ritz was available for comment. The Ritz was Fined EUR 104,000.

"The hotels each have one month to appeal," said Competition Council communications director Virginie Guin.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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