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Parliamentary questions
PDF 39kWORD 9k
3 January 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Izaskun Bilbao Barandica
 Subject: Unfair terms in contracts between hotels and online travel agencies

A number of European associations for hotel and tourist accommodation owners have denounced the way in which the terms and conditions they offer their guests are affected by the dominant market position of major online travel agencies (OTA). Approximately 85 % of the online booking market is dominated by the biggest firms in the sector, which force hotels to keep their prices on a par with those offered by the travel agencies, making it harder for the former to quote better rates on their own sales platforms where there are no costs for a middleman. This price clause figures in contracts signed in the past and has been deemed unfair by the authorities in a number of EU Member States. France, Belgium, Italy and Austria have in fact passed laws banning it, thereby creating yet another distortion on the internal market to add to the effects of the dominant position described above. In light of these facts:

Does the Commission agree with the governments of the aforementioned Member States that this price parity affects competition?

Could this be deemed an unfair practice?

Given that laws have already been passed in some countries, could a similar clause be included in the reform of the e-Commerce Directive?

Original language of question: ES
Last updated: 15 January 2020Legal notice