Book­ing.com al­ters con­tested rules for Europe ho­tels

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Online ho­tel reser­va­tion site Book­ing.com an­nounced Thurs­day it is re­vis­ing its con­tested pric­ing rules that pro­hibit Euro­pean ho­tels it lists from ad­just­ing their rates on other sites.

The re­vi­sion will end re­stric­tions pre­vent­ing ho­tels listed on Book­ing.com from of­fer­ing lower prices else­where if they so choose, and from of­fer­ing a greater vol­ume of rooms avail­able on other online and off­line reser­va­tion ser­vices.

The move comes af­ter com­pe­ti­tion reg­u­la­tors in sev­eral Euro­pean coun­tries in April sided with ho­tel own­ers de­nounc­ing the re­stric­tions as un­fair.

“To­day Book­ing. com ... an­nounced it will amend its par­ity terms with all ac­com­mo­da­tions part­ners in Europe by 1 July 2015 to be con­sis­tent with the bind­ing com­mit­ments given to the French, Ital­ian and Swedish” reg­u­la­tors, the com­pany said in a state­ment.

It also said the changes are “in line with its com­mit­ment to a new Europe-wide stan­dard to keep com­pe­ti­tion healthy, driv­ing value for con­sumers and hote­liers,”

How­ever, Book­ing.com will con­tinue pro­hibit­ing ho­tels from of­fer- ing lower room prices on their own web sites than the rates they quote to reser­va­tion por­tals.

The re­vi­sion aims to re­solve the con­flict over com­pe­ti­tion con­cerns, but not leave Book­ing.com at risk of be­ing un­der­cut by ho­tels of­fer­ing loss-lead­ing rates.

“Un­der these new con­di­tions, Book­ing.com can con­tinue to pro­vide a valu­able ser­vice to con­sumers that de­liv­ers trans­parency, ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion, choice, value and a seam­less ex­pe­ri­ence, and a valu­able ser­vice to ho­tels by pro­vid­ing highly cost-ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing,” the state­ment said.

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