Expedia changing European deals relating to rate parity

Expedia stated on Wednesday that starting August 1 it is suspending for five years certain clauses in its agreements with European hoteliers that govern rates, conditions and availability. The move comes after European competition authorities started an investigation based on hotelier claims that OTAs were undercutting best rates offered on brand and hotel websites.

Expedia said it was not breaking the law with its current agreements and that its new plan is in accordance with the single digital market in Europe being pursued by the European Commission.

In a statement Expedia said: “A number of European competition authorities are currently investigating rate, conditions and availability parity clauses in certain online travel agency agreements with hotels.

“Expedia has worked closely and constructively with these authorities and the European Commission and today announced that it is waiving its rate, conditions and availability parity clauses with its hotel partners for a period of five years in line with Clauses 1.1, 1.2 and 2.1 of the formal commitments offered by and accepted by the national competition authorities in France, Italy and Sweden in April 2015.

“The changes announced today apply to all hotel properties in Europe and affect consumers booking via Expedia’s sites worldwide.”