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Booking.com Under Scrutiny In Germany, Company Says It Provides 'Transparency, Choice And Value' To Consumers

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Germany's antitrust regulator ordered Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ: PCLN)'s Booking.com site to terminate a practice that bans hotels from offering rooms at a lower price on their own website.

Reuters noted that this practice is common among online travel agencies and Booking.com has already made changes to its agreements with hotels in July 2015 to satisfy national competition agencies across Europe.

Nevertheless, the agency has given Priceline until January 31 to terminate its practice.

Priceline said in a press release that it will appeal the ruling, noting that prior changes to remove the price parity has been cheered by national competition authorities in France, Italy, the UK, among other European countries.

"We believe this decision is flawed because it does not recognize the immense benefits that online travel brands like Booking.com bring to both consumers and accommodations," said Gillian Tans, President of Booking.com. "Companies like ours bring transparency, choice and value to global travelers by aggregating information for hundreds of thousands of properties. We do not only save consumers time and money, we serve as a highly cost-efficient marketing channel for most hotels that could not otherwise afford to market their brand to domestic and international consumers.

 

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Posted-In: Booking.com Gillian Tans Online Travel Agencies priceline ReutersNews Legal

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