The online accommodation platform has denied the accusations. / sur

Major accommodation booking platform under investigation by Spain's Markets and Competition Commission

The CNMC is responding to two complaints that some of the firm's business practices are abusive and detrimental to hotels and travel agencies in the country

C.A. MADRID.

Spain's National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) is investigating the Booking.com online accommodation platform and could take disciplinary action if it is found to have abused its dominant position with regard to intermediaries such as travel agencies and hotels in the country.

It says the company may have imposed “unfair” conditions on hotels and implemented online policies which exclude online travel agencies and other online sales channels.

In a statement, the Commission said it is also investigating certain practices which may exploit Spanish hotels' financial dependence on Booking.com.

If this is the case, it would consider it to be unfair competition which is not in the public interest, and it has established a period of 18 months for the matter to be investigated and resolved.

The Commission has taken this step after two complaints from the Spanish Association of Hotel Managers and the Hotel Business Association of Madrid in June, criticising Booking.com’s price match and availability clauses in its contracts. They claimed this works against the hotels’ interests.

The firm refutes the accusations

Booking.com has defended its business model and pointed out the services it offers for hotel owners, such as being able to advertise their establishments free and translating their information into 44 different languages.

Although hotel owners can advertise on the platform free of charge, they have to pay a fixed percentage of each reservation they receive through Booking.com.