Update on Nustay complaint to EU Directorate-General for Competition: EU Commission publishes an open call for tenders for a market study on the distribution of hotel accommodation in the EU
Nustay A/S (“Nustay”) notes the EU Commission’s call for tenders for a market study on the distribution of hotel accommodation in the EU. The call seeks to have the study conducted in 2021, with the aim of providing up-to-date information on how hotels market and sell their rooms. This call for a market study, and the adjoining press statement, is relevant to Nustay’s complaint to the Directorate-General for Competition on June 11th, 2019. In its complaint Nustay alleges that EAN.com LP (“Expedia”) and Booking Holdings (“Booking.com”) could be acting in breach of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and national laws banning parity clauses.
EU Commission’s open call for tenders
On 9th July 2020 the European Commission published an open call for tenders for a market study on the distribution of hotel accommodation in the EU. (https://ec.europa.eu/competition/calls/tenders_open.html) The related press statement outlined: “The study will be conducted in 2021 and will focus on Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Poland, Spain and Sweden. These Member States have been chosen to provide a sample that is representative in terms of geographic location, population size, degree of concentration of the hotel sector, and antitrust or legislative interventions. The market study is intended to provide up-to-date information on how hotels market and sell their rooms, including: (i) whether distribution arrangements differ between Member States; (ii) whether there have been changes relative to the findings of a monitoring exercise conducted by a group of EU competition authorities in 2016; and (iii) whether national laws banning booking platform parity clauses have led to changes in distribution arrangements. The study will cover the period from 2017 to early 2021 and the results will be published in early 2022. Today's call for tender follows the decision by the network of EU competition authorities (European Competition Network – ECN) in 2017 to keep the hotel booking sector under review and to re-assess the state of competition in due course. The Commission has consulted the national competition authorities on the plan for the study and they will have a further opportunity to provide input during the study.”
(see statement here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/mex_20_1317)
Nustay Complaint June 2019
The call for tenders and the adjoining press statement is highly relevant to Nustay’s complaint to the EU Directorate-General for Competition, made on the 11th June 2019. The EU Commission’s press statement outlines that the market study aims to assess “whether national laws banning booking platform parity clauses have led to changes in distribution arrangements” – which follows from the decision by the ECN in 2017 to keep the hotel booking sector under review and to re-assess the state of competition. In so doing, the market study will be dealing directly with the allegations made by Nustay in its complaint last year. In its complaint, Nustay alleged that evidence it received from various sources suggests that Expedia and Booking.com might be, in a systematic way, restricting competition in the market and effectively enforcing wide price parity. It argued that this behaviour could in turn could be in breach of Articles 101 and 102 of the TFEU and national laws banning parity clauses.
Nustay CEO, Mathias Lundoe Nielsen comments:
“We are encouraged by the EU Commission’s call for tenders for a market study on the distribution of hotel accommodation. In seeking to provide up-to-date facts to enable the Commission to re-assess the state of competition in this sector, the market study will cover all aspects of the relationships between hotels and hotel booking platforms, including the practices alleged in Nustay’s complaint.”
For further information about Nustay, please contact:
Investor Relations, Nustay A/S
This information is information that Nustay A/S is obliged to publish following the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was provided by the contact person above for publication on July 20th, 2020.
Nustay is a Danish online hotel booking company established in 2014. The company has developed an innovative booking platform offering the lowest possible hotel prices while also enhancing customer’s booking experience. Nustay has set out an ambitious vision to become the global leader within the online hotel booking industry, and is confident its large hotel room inventory, novel pricing strategy, and transparent booking process, will achieve that goal.