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Price abuse? – Price Survey initiates proceedings against News

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 | Economy

The search for a friendly solution with Booking.com has failed, writes the price watcher on Tuesday. The hotel booking platform did not want to sit with him at the negotiating table.
If he finds a price abuse, the price monitor is legally obliged to talk to the company concerned with the aim of reaching a consensual solution. Since the procedure had failed in this case, a procedure had been opened on 8 September as a logical consequence.
Stefan Meierhans, who oversaw the review against Booking.com, made public in February during the presentation of his annual report. One had to check whether it was a "market-oriented" company, how much a hotelier would pay to be listed on the platform, where he would be performed, and how much commission it cost him.
Booking.com claimed that there could be no question of a refusal to talk. After a meeting on 13th June, the data was presented to the price watcher. Booking.com has submitted proofs on the functioning of the market. The commissions are appropriate in the comparison of competition and that with other countries.
Online booking platforms are controversial because of their restrictive conditions of participation. The platforms make the hotels, among other things, price regulations, which prohibit them from offering their beds more cheaply on other sales channels. The hotels and their association see this as an intrusion into the freedom of the company.
Nevertheless, the platforms for hotels are becoming increasingly important: according to the figures of the Institute of Tourism of the Fachhochschule Westschweiz Valais in Sierre, their share of 2016 in bookings in Switzerland rose by 6.7 per cent compared with the previous year to around 27 per cent.
The business would dominate the three platforms Booking, Expedia and HRS, which together generated 93 per cent of direct bookings. The lion's share is due to Booking.com, which belongs to the US group Priceline.
The Fachhochschule estimates the total turnover of Booking, Expedia and HRS to more than 1 billion francs. The commissions paid by the hotels to the platforms amounted to 150 million Swiss francs.


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