The national competition authorities of Sweden, Italy and France, in
coordination with the European Commission, are the latest regulators to have
accepted commitments offered by Booking.com, Europe's largest online booking
Booking.com has agreed to amend its price parity clause and
remove any clause imposing parity obligations in terms of the availability of
rooms or commercial conditions both for online and offline channels.
means that hotels now have the freedom to apply lower prices and/or better
commercial conditions on platforms that compete with Booking.com and also
allocate them a larger quota of rooms. They may also offer lower rates than
those on Booking.com via their own offline sales channels.
commitments will remain in place for 5 years and the aims are:
they should provide an impetus to competition
between Booking.com and competing online travel agents, allowing the commissions
levied on the hotels to fall;
they also give hotels some countervailing power
by considerably improving their commercial and pricing freedom;
they maintain at the same time the online
travel agents' economic model which provides consumers with powerful research
and comparison services.
After all of the investigations and
interventions in this sector, please let me know how you get on with your
holiday hotel bookings this year!