European Platform Observatory clearly identifies how OTAs exercise their market dominance

The EU Observatory on the Online Platform Economy supports the Commission in policy-making by monitoring and analysing the online platform economy.

Earlier in 2021, the observatory issued several publications of interest. HOTREC notably welcomes the conclusions of the Analytical paper: “Multi-homing: obstacles, opportunities, facilitating factors”. It extensively covers how and why, despite the fact that hotels can ‘multi-home’ on several OTA platforms, the benefits of such multihoming are limited for hotels, exposing the many ways in which OTAs exert their market power over hoteliers, including imposing price parity clauses and only sharing limited data with hotels about guests. It also highlights that from a hotelier’s perspective, Booking.com – which accounted for 67.7% of the OTAs market in Europe in 2019 – still feels as an unavoidable business partner and behaves like an actor with significant market power.

The Observatory also published a report Monitoring of the implementation of the Platform to Business Regulation and an Analytical paper on the “Structure of the online platform economy post COVID-19 outbreak”.  The second paper direct shows that direct contact with hotels to potentially ask questions in the context of the pandemic and preference for domestic travel were key factors supporting a relatively higher proportion of direct bookings than usual.

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