2 JULY 2018


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Article from BTNews 2 JULY 2018

Booking sites under scrutiny

Britain’s industry watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), is challenging hotel booking sites over the way they grade and present rooms on their websites.

The authority claimed some companies, which it did not name, could be making misleading claims about discounts, and said it was also examining whether sites gave a false impression of room availability and "rushed" customers into booking.

CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “Booking sites can make it so much easier to choose a hotel, but only if people are able to trust them. We are now demanding sites think again about how they are presenting information.”

Coscelli said the authority wanted to ensure the sites were complying with the law. “Our next step is to take any necessary action – including through the courts if needed – to ensure people get a fair deal,” he added.

The CMA has ordered the sites to review how they work and respond within the next few months to give a legally-binding commitment to change the way they operate, or argue their case that their practices do not break the law.

The CMA says if it disagrees with their arguments, it can take the companies to court, where unlimited fines can be levied. About 70% of people who shop around for accommodation use hotel booking sites, according to the authority.


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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Robert Shaw, Burgess Hill

Yes agree entirely. Particularly with constant e-mails saying up to 50% off, you try and find them !

Stephen Hillcoat, Turkey

Agree wholeheartedly with the investigation. Whilst they are conducting the review, they should probe the companies concerned on why theire is so much fraudulent activity on their sites (Booking.com) has a terrible reputation here in Turkey for fake bookings which is damaging business.