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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Briefings

Briefings

ACCCs agreement with Expedia and Booking.com - an expedient solution

6 September 2016

On 2 September 2016 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that it had reached agreement with the two main online travel agents (OTAs) in Australia to amend price and availability parity clauses in their contracts with Australian hotels. However, the agreements do not prevent online travel agents from continuing to prohibit their hotel suppliers from offering lower prices to consumers on the hotels' own websites.

Although the ACCC agreement brings the Australian position in line with many other jurisdictions, its actual effect on price competition between OTAs remains to be seen. Additionally, it is unlikely to completely appease the hotels who were the main drivers of the ACCC investigation in the first place. Finally, it poses questions regarding the compatibility of the ACCC's position here and the one it's taken in the ongoing Flight Centre litigation, which arguably involves similar facts.

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