The big OTAs and GDS see the new Digital Markets Act as a great opportunity to put an end to Google’s hegemony. They consider that it will make it possible to curb practices that have been considered “anti-competitive” for years, such as self-preference, which, in their opinion, “does not allow agents to compete in the market based on merit.” (GDS and OTA declare war on Google for “its abuses”)
EU Travel Tech, a lobby that brings together leading online tourism distribution companies (including Booking), stresses that this regulation will allow “guaranteeing fair and competitive European digital markets.” However, they warn that its application and complementarity with EU competition law “will be decisive” in making it bear fruit.
Thus, it urges Brussels to “apply rapid and appropriate solutions” against Google, mainly in the Google Shopping case and in the prohibition of self-preference. He recalls that the giant “has abused its dominant position by continuing the practice of favoring its own specialized search services within general search results pages.” (Google-Booking, the great battle of the 21st century)
The position of online travel distributors regarding the new law is quite different from that shown by hoteliers, who see the legislative change as an opportunity to curb Booking and other large platforms. (Hard blow to Booking: end to “unacceptable behavior”)
The president of the working group on distribution of the great European hotel lobby (HOTREC), Markus Luthe, recently assured that “the agreement gives a clear signal to the digital giants: behave as partners, and not as guardians, towards consumers and users. commercial”.
The new regulation will mean, among other issues, the definitive end of the controversial parity clauses, which prevent hoteliers from offering lower prices in their direct channels, and will guarantee greater transparency in relation to the listings prepared by the large OTAs.