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A woman searches for accommodation on Booking.com website. A. Gomez
Booking.com faces nearly 500-million-euro fine over alleged anti-competitive practices
Travel

Booking.com faces nearly 500-million-euro fine over alleged anti-competitive practices

Spain's antitrust watchdog launched an investigation into the online travel giant following two complaints filed by Spanish hotel associations

Edurne Martínez

Madrid

Tuesday, 27 February 2024, 15:58

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Booking.com faces a 486-million-euro fine in Spain for alleged anti-competitive practices, which would be the largest sanction in the tourism giant's history. The Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) has proposed the fine, the online travel company announced.

The accommodation booking portal has been accused of anti-competitive behaviour such as preventing domestic hotel groups from offering deals that are cheaper on their own sites than the price they offer on booking.com. However, the online travel site has denied any wrongdoing arguing that allowing higher prices on its website would hurt the consumer. Booking.com said it will appeal this "unprecedented decision in Spain" if it becomes final.

The CNMC launched an investigation in October 2022 after two complaints were filed by the Spanish association of hotel managers and the hotel business association of Madrid where they accused the online travel platform of "unfair" anti-competitive practices. Due to the ongoing investigation CNMC said it "cannot make any statement" at present.

Booking.com sources told SUR that despite any proposed fine the company's commitment to Spain "remains intact".

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