Also Italy prohibits rate parity clauses of online booking platforms by law

02.08.2017 | Press release by HOTREC Hospitality Europe
Hotelführer
Christian de Barrin (CEO of HOTREC; left) and Markus Luthe (Chairman HOTREC Distribution Task Force; right); Photo: HOTREC
Christian de Barrin (CEO of HOTREC; left) and Markus Luthe (Chairman HOTREC Distribution Task Force; right); Photo: HOTREC

Brussels, 3rd August 2017 – Following the ban of parity clauses from online booking platforms in Germany, France and Austria, Italy is the fourth important touristic country in Europe to prohibit such clauses in contracts with hotel partners. After a two-year parliamentary round, the corresponding amendment to Article 50 of the Italian Competition Law was adopted yesterday by the Italian Senate (Senato della Repubblica) with 146 votes pro and 113 against. Previously, the Chamber of Deputies (Camera deputies) had already agreed. The legal ban on rate parity clauses in Italy is expected to come into force in September 2017. ”This is an important milestone for the restoration of fair competition in the field of online distribution, both from the consumers' point of view and the hotel industry in Italy and across Europe,” welcomes Markus Luthe, Chair of HOTREC’s Distribution Task Force the decision of the Italian legislator.

The new passage in Italian competition law is as follows (translation not official):

"Any agreement by which the hotel is obliged not to offer to the final clients, by any means or any instruments, prices, terms and any other conditions better than those offered by the same hotel through intermediaries, independently from the law applicable to the contract, is void.”

Still in April 2015, in a concerted action, the cartel authorities in France, Sweden and Italy had allowed the European market leader Booking.com to impose "narrow" parity clauses which prohibited the hotel's cheaper room rates on the own hotel website. But already in July 2015, the French National Assembly decided to impose a legal prohibition on rate parity clauses in contracts between hoteliers and booking platforms ("Loi Macron"). Also the Austrian National Assembly adopted an amendment to the Austrian law on unfair competition on 9th November 2016, including best price and best condition clauses in contracts between hotels and OTAs as unfair practice, making any such clauses void. In Germany, the Competition Authority (Bundeskartellamt) prohibited the application of such most-favored-nation clauses (MFN) to the booking platforms HRS (December 2013, legally binding) and Booking.com (December 2015, not yet legally binding). In Belgium and Switzerland, legislative initiatives such as those in France, Austria and Italy have already been brought to the parliamentary path.

”From a European perspective, more and more countries should feel encouraged by these examples to limit the dominance of online platforms and to reduce the imbalances for the benefit of consumers and the mostly small and medium sized European hotels alike. We therefore particularly welcome the ongoing parliamentary initiatives in Belgium and Switzerland to ban rate parity clauses and wish them every success”, underlined Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC.

For the future HOTREC recommends consumers to look even more than today directly on the hotel's own website, in order to really find the best offers. In parallel HOTREC recommends all hoteliers in Europe to participate in the "Book Direct" campaign of the European umbrella organization.

For further information, please visit: https://www.book-direct-shop.eu/

 


What is HOTREC?

HOTREC represents the hotel, restaurant and café industry at European level. This industry includes around 1.8 million businesses, of which 99% are small and medium sized enterprises (91% of them micro enterprises, i.e. employing fewer than 10 people). These businesses make up some 59% of industry value added. The hospitality industry provides some 10.2 million jobs in the EU alone. Together with the other tourism industries, the sector is one of the largest industries in Europe. HOTREC brings together 43 national associations representing the sector in 29 different European countries.

For further information: www.hotrec.eu

PRESS CONTACT: Daniel Makay +32(0)2 504 78 42, daniel.makay@hotrec.eu

HOTREC PR 2017-08-03_Also Italy prohibits rate parity clauses of online booking platforms by law


Weitere
28.09 2021
GVFH vergibt zwei Stipendien für die Weiterbildung Revenue Manager (DHA)

Anlässlich des IHA-Hotelkongress in Berlin wurde am 21. September je ein Stipendienplatz an Jaqueline Becker und Mohamed Abdelmaksoud vergeben. Möglich gemacht hat dies der Gemeinnützige Verein zur För-derung der Hotellerie in Deutschland (GVFH), der erstmals gemeinsam mit der Deutschen Hotelakademie (DHA) und dem Hotelverband Deutschland (IHA) zwei Stipendienplätze für die Weiterbildung Revenue Management vergeben hat.

27.09 2021
Interessenvertretung der Hotellerie: NOVUM Hospitality tritt dem Hotelverband bei

Die NOVUM Hospitality hat anlässlich des IHA-Hotelkongresses ein starkes Statement zur Stärkung der Interessenvertretung der Hotellerie gegeben: Zum 1. Januar 2022 tritt die Hotelgruppe mit Sitz in Hamburg dem Hotelverband Deutschland (IHA) bei. NOVUM Hospitality zählt mit europaweit mehr als 150 Ho-tels an über 60 Standorten und insgesamt über 20.000 Zimmern im 3- bis 4-Sterne-Segment zu den größten Hotelgesellschaften in Europa. Das Hotelportfolio der NOVUM Hospitality umfasst Häuser in stets zentraler Lage, die unter den Marken Novum Hotels, Select Hotels, the niu, Yggotel und acora Living the City betrieben werden.

21.09 2021
IHA-Hotelkongress 2021 / Innovation Summit: DialogShift und Hotelbird überzeugen die IHA-Mitglieder
Olga Heuser von DialogShift gewinnt den IHA-Branchenaward für Start-ups 2021.  Foto: Stefan Anker

Nach der coronabedingten Pause von einem Jahr führte der Hotelverband Deutschland (IHA) im Rahmen seines Jahreskongresses im Mercure Hotel MOA in Berlin bereits zum fünften Mal einen Innovation Summit durch und ließ seine Mitglieder direkt per Abstimmung über die Vergabe des Branchenawards für Start-ups und die „Produktinnovation des Jahres“ aus Reihen seiner Preferred Partner entscheiden. Bei den Start-up-Unternehmen setzte sich DialogShift durch. Bei den Preferred Partnern siegte Hotelbird. „Wir freuen uns über die starke Akzeptanz unserer Wettbewerbe und sind stolz auf die Vielfalt, Qualität und Innovationskraft der Beiträge. Den Gewinnerinnen, aber auch allen anderen Endrundenteilnehmern gratulieren wir von Herzen“, erläutert IHA-Vorsitzender Otto Lindner das Engagement des Hotelverbandes.