The Roles of Innovation in Competition Law Analysis
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The Roles of Innovation in Competition Law Analysis

Edited by Paul Nihoul and Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel

Rapid technological innovations have challenged the conventional application of antitrust and competition law across the globe. Acknowledging these challenges, this original work analyses the roles of innovation in competition law analysis and reflects on how competition and antitrust law can be refined and tailored to innovation.
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Chapter 14: Online platforms, rate parity and the free-riding defence

Simonetta Vezzoso

Abstract

Online platforms have come to play an increasingly important role in hotel room bookings. Online travel agents (OTAs) have imposed so-called rate parity clauses in the contracts with their hotel partners. These are contract clauses laying down the hotelier’s obligation to display the same room prices across sales channels. Within the European Union, different national competition authorities have reacted differently to the anticompetitive nature of such clauses. The main contribution of this chapter consists in highlighting those diverse approaches and in outlining some of challenges of applying traditional competition law enforcement tools to rate parity clauses.

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