On July 20, Sweden’s Patent & Market Court asserted that Booking.com’s narrow price parity clauses (which dictate that a hotel cannot offer a better price on its own website than on the OTA) had the potential effect of restricting competition in the online travel market.
The case is significant due to its going further than the national competition authorities in Sweden, Italy and France, who in 2015 accepted Booking.com’s commitment to narrow rather than wide price parity clauses. (Wide price parity means that a hotel cannot offer a cheaper price than the OTA on any channel). The Swedish hospitality association Visita has maintained since that time that narrow parity clauses do not go far enough to reduce the anti-competitive effect Booking.com has on the hotel market. This latest victory could lay the groundwork for other countries following suit.
We spoke to David Nordström, Senior Economist at Copenhagen Economics (the consultancy who advised Visita on the case). We asked David to explain the background of the case, as well as how they managed to take on one of the biggest companies in Europe – and win.
Click here to read complete article at Triptease.