Competition Office fines booking.com operator HUF 2.5 bln
II.studio / Shutterstock.com
Hungaryʼs Competition Office (GVH) on Tuesday said it fined the Dutch operator of online booking site booking.com HUF 2.5 billion for unfair business practices, according to a report by state news wire MTI.
Image by II.studio / Shutterstock.com
GVH said booking.com had falsely advertised "free cancellation" of commercial accommodations and had used "aggressive" sales techniques to put "psychological pressure" on would-be customers.
The authority said booking.com had built the price of the "free cancellations" into the price of lodgings.
It said booking.comʼs practice of showing messages communicating demand for lodgings, such as "32 looking at this lodging" or "High in demand! 17 bookings in the last 24 hours", amounted to psychological pressuring.
GVH added that booking.com did not give equal treatment to domestic commercial accommodations that accept the SZÉP voucher card, which may have distorted travelersʼ decisions.
The authority prohibited the practices from January 1, 2021 and instructed the operator to document, in detail, compliance measures by March 31, 2021.
SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL
Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.