Home Law in IT The court upheld the FAS in the Booking.com case

The court upheld the FAS in the Booking.com case

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The court upheld the FAS in the Booking.com case
On August 30, 2021, the Arbitration Court of Moscow denied Booking.com in a lawsuit against the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia, which considered the aggregator a violator of antitrust law due to the imposition of the price parity requirement on Russian hotels.
In doing so, the court upheld the FAS in the case against Booking.com and recognized the validity of the supervisory agency’s order against the lodging reservation service, which the aggregator never fulfilled. In fact, this was the only way for Booking.com lawyers to postpone payment of a billion-dollar fine by FAS. And now the aggregator’s attempt to appeal the FAS administrative penalty is likely to be rejected by the court.
Since the end of last year, the FAS demanded that Booking.com cancel clauses in contracts with partners concerning the obligation of hotels to maintain in all sales channels, including metasearch engines, travel agencies, other aggregators and the websites of hotels themselves, the same prices and availability data that hotels provide to Booking.com aggregator.
December 27, 2019 FAS instituted a lawsuit antitrust case against Booking.com because of the price parity clause on the complaint of the All-Russian public organization of small and medium-sized entrepreneurship "Opora Rossii".
On December 22, 2020, the FAS obligated Booking.com not to require Russian hotels to guarantee equal prices. The regulator stated that the company was abusing its position in the market, as it was imposing unfavorable contract terms on Russian hotels and hotels.
In February 2021, Booking.com filed in a lawsuit against the FAS, the service demanded that the decision to dominate the aggregator and impose prices on hotels be declared illegal. Hearings on the case were postponed several times.
On August 26, 2021, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation fined Booking.com accommodation booking service for 1.3 billion rubles for abuse of a dominant position in the Russian market, according to part 2 of article 14.31 of the CAO RF Booking.com disagrees with the FAS decision and intends to appeal the decision to fine him. The service believes its price parity practices are fair and competition in tourism is high because "consumers use multiple ways to find and book a hotel room."

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