30 Mar 2017

Booking.com in a bind in Turkey over court row with domestic agencies

Turkish authorities have ordered the temporary suspension for some of the operations at Booking.com in the country.

The injunction was imposed by a court in Istanbul during an ongoing dispute with the country’s main travel association.

The ban means that, for the time being, Turkish hotels are not available to Turkish users of the site.

The case centres on whether or not Booking.com requires a travel license to operate in the country.

The Association of Turkish Travel Agencies is angered over the Priceline Group’s presence in Turkey and, according to reports, accuses it of “engaging in unfair competition in the marketing of hotels”.

The ongoing case is not related to other investigations regarding price parity in Turkey or in some markets in Europe.

Booking.com says it will not comment on the specifics of the case and will appeal the injunction.

Travellers can continue to book Turkish hotels from countries outside of the country.

An official adds:

“As an e-commerce company and technology provider, we firmly believe that we are contributing to healthy competition in the marketplace by providing Turkish consumers with a transparent and convenient platform to compare and book accommodation all over the world.

“We also drive valuable incremental business for more than 13,000 Turkish accommodation providers of all kinds throughout the country who partner with us and choose to list their properties on our platform.”

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