July 02, 2015

Expedia to change hotel agreements in Europe with regards to rate parity


Expedia on Wednesday said it would allow European hotels to list varying rates on other websites, yielding to pressure from regulators concerned about price-fixing. Expedia said it hoped the changes to its contracts with hotels would satisfy European authorities.

The new agreements between Expedia and hoteliers in Europe covering the next five years will come into force on August 1 and the OTA said it will be contacting all hotel partners to explain how the announcement will be implemented.

Expedia insisted its current deals are legal, but says the new pan-European policy is in accordance with the single digital market in Europe being pursued by the European Commission.

In a statement Expedia said: “A number of European competition authorities are currently investigating rate, conditions and availability parity clauses in certain online travel agency agreements with hotels.

“Expedia has worked closely and constructively with these authorities and the European Commission and today announced that it is waiving its rate, conditions and availability parity clauses with its hotel partners for a period of five years in line with Clauses 1.1, 1.2 and 2.1 of the formal commitments offered by Booking.com and accepted by the national competition authorities in France, Italy and Sweden in April 2015.

“The changes announced today apply to all hotel properties in Europe and affect consumers booking via Expedia’s sites worldwide.

Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal and Travolution