CMA Guidance on Online Accommodation Pricing

5th March 2019 by admin

The Competition and Markets Authority has identified serious concerns about certain practices commonly used in the online accommodation booking sector after an investigation into Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, ebookers and trivago who have given commitments to change their practices.

Following this investigation the CMA published principles to help businesses comply with consumer law. If a business is using any of the practices highlighted, they need to make changes by 1st September 2019. The CMA has set out expectations on what businesses should and shouldn’t do below.

Why consumer law compliance matters

Using sales tactics like misleading pressure selling, misleading discount claims, not disclosing the role that money a business earns plays in search results’ rankings, and hidden charges can harm customers and the reputation of the industry. It also puts businesses at risk of breaking consumer protection law.

Who these principles apply to

Sales practices businesses must assess:

Search rankings

Reference prices

Hidden charges

Pressure selling

Those who aren’t risk facing CMA enforcement action, which could lead to the CMA seeking a court order.

[Source: CMA, 26 February 2019]

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