Hotel online booking has been a primary focus for competition authorities across Europe lately, with a number of parallel investigations into ‘price parity’ or ‘most-favoured nation’ clauses imposed by Booking.com and Expedia. This meant that hotels were unable to offer cheaper room rates on competing online travel agents’ sites.
The UK investigation was eventually closed after Skyscanner’s successful litigation against the UK Regulator’s initial decision, and following European-wide changes Expedia and Booking.com later made to their terms and conditions.
Hotels in the UK have now been sent a questionnaire by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), as part of a project to monitor how changes to room pricing terms are affecting the market.
This monitoring is expected to be completed by the end of 2016 and will enable the CMA and other competition agencies to determine whether any further action is needed in this sector.
Hotels which are concerned about the way the market operates and wish to participate – including those who have not been contacted directly by the CMA – will find a link to the questionnaire HERE.
The CMA’s recent questionnaire demonstrates that the hotel sector is still very much subject to regulatory scrutiny. The deadline for responses to its questionnaire is 8 August 2016. Freeths’ competition experts can provide you with any background you may need to enable you to respond appropriately.
Please contact: Andrew Maxwell on 0345 128 6997 if you have questions relating to competition regulation
The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the present time and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.