Edited by Paul Nihoul and Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel
Chapter 14: Online platforms, rate parity and the free-riding defence
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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