Promoting fairness for hotel businesses: Platforms send notifications on Digital Markets Act gatekeeper status

As of July 3, 2023, powerful online platforms were required to notify the European Commission if they meet the thresholds to be designated as gatekeepers under the landmark Digital Markets Act (DMA).

HOTREC took note of the statement made by Booking.com on 4 July 2023 – in which the company declared that it does not currently qualify as a gatekeeper – and urged the European Commission to further scrutinize the information.

Last year, HOTREC warmly welcomed the adoption of the DMA and its anticipated impact on the relationship between online travel agents and hotel businesses. Hotel businesses, of which most are SMEs, have long been advocating for a legal framework to address the unfair behaviour and business practices of dominant online travel agents. In particular, HOTREC appreciated the prohibition of narrow price parity clauses, which restrict hoteliers from offering a better price on their own channels compared to the platform, and the obligation to grant business users improved access to the data generated by their listings.

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