Buyers and sellers want an improved meetings sourcing process. They complain about the complexity and the volume of requests for proposals needed for the task. All would welcome a cost-effective, transparent platform for quicker searching, shopping and booking. These are the stated reasons for a combined $50 million investment in meetings marketplace Groups360 by Accor, IHG, Hilton and Marriott.

But some question the motives. Is this an opportunity for hoteliers to collude? To further reduce group commissions? Is it a reaction to Cvent's dominance, with more benefits for hoteliers than for meeting planning pros?

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