After the online travel agent Expedia has changed the application of certain conditions in its contract with hotels, the Swedish Competition Authority has now closed its investigation of the company. Expedia operates under the trademarks of Expedia, Hotels.com and Venere, among others.
After the Swedish Competition Authority, and competition authorities in other EU countries, started investigations into Expedia's conditions, Expedia changed the application of certain conditions in its contract with hotels as of 1 August 2015.
In a similar case against Booking.com, a competitor of Expedia, the Swedish Competition Authority accepted commitments from the company to change its conditions earlier in the year. Among other things, Booking.com undertook to no longer demand that the prices offered by hotels on the company's website must be the same as or lower than the prices they offer via Booking.com's competitors.
Expedia has now voluntarily changed its conditions in a similar way to Booking.com. As a result, the conditions that the Swedish Competition Authority preliminarily found to restrict competition do not apply any longer. The Swedish Competition Authority has therefore closed its investigation of Expedia.
The Swedish Competition Authority’s investigations in the OTA sector have been coordinated with the national competition authorities of France and Italy. The European Commission has assisted the competition authorities in this coordination.
E-commerce in focus in the EU
E-commerce, i.e. goods and services being ordered and mediated on the internet, has increased substantially in recent years. New business practices in sales and distribution, as well as completely new services, are driving developments.
In response to these developments, competition supervisory authorities have increased their interest in the competitive situation in e-commerce. Within the EU, this has taken place at the level of national competition authorities and at the level of the European Commission. Several cases against leading internet companies as well as market studies concerning e-commerce have been initiated in Europe.
The investigations in the online travel agency sector are part of this focus which aims at ensuring that the development of e-commerce will be characterised by effective competition with a high degree of innovation, a broad range of offers and price pressure, to the benefit of consumers.
For further information, please contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Secretary tel +46(0)8-700 15 80 or +46(0)76 542 15 80 Martin Mandorff, Head of Unit, tel +46(0)8-700 15 53