Digital Markets Act: Hotrec congratulates European Parliament for landmark report and substantial improvements

HOTREC warmly welcomes yesterday’s (15 December) vote on the Digital Markets Act by the European Parliament. The report adopted in plenary confirms the choices made by the Internal Market Committee (IMCO), which introduce several crucial key solutions for hospitality establishments.

Hotels have been witnessing the increasing market power of dominant online travel platforms for over a decade.

HOTREC Director General Marie Audren said: “In practice, hotels strongly depend on online intermediaries for online visibility and have had little or no means to challenge their conditions and requirements. There is a ‘take it or leave it approach’ – where ‘leave it’ is hardly an option for hoteliers. The substantial improvements put forward by the European Parliament open the door to a more balanced and fair relationship for platforms’ business users and will empower consumers when choosing accommodation online.

She concluded: “Congratulations to all the Members of the European Parliament who have contributed to this landmark report. We feel that our long-lasting concerns regarding the dominance of online intermediaries are finally being addressed.

Under the proposals put forward by the European Parliament, gatekeepers would not be able to restrict the pricing policy of establishments on their own online sales channels via so-called narrow price parity clauses, and would have to share more detailed and granular data with business users. HOTREC highlights these two key improvements which go a long way towards supporting the digitalisation of hospitality establishments and their capacity to compete with platforms for consumers’ attention in the digital space.

With trilogue negotiations set to get underway under the French Presidency of the EU in 2022, HOTREC urges the EU Member States to agree with the regulatory ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ put forward by the European Parliament. When it comes to designating gatekeepers, HOTREC considers that the criteria outlined by both Parliament and Council offer a solid basis for a good compromise.

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