Fair Trade Commission of Japan accepted an improvement plan, which is a corporate plan to exclude suspicious violation of Anti-Monopoly Act, from Booking.com B.V. on March 16. The commission noticed an improvement plan to the OTA, pointing out that a contract condition for an accommodation partner to demand a lower price than other OTAs is suspicious of the Anti-Monopoly Act violation.
When a competitor OTA discounted a particular accommodation with its own effort, Booking.com refused to list the accommodation because of the contract. When a competitor OTA proposed a promotional campaign to a particular accommodation, Booking.com refused to list the accommodation because of the contract.
The commission has doubted such cases possibly disturb fair trading among competitors.
In an improvement plan covering the next three years, Booking.com confirms that it gives up demanding equality with other distribution channels to accommodation partners and forcing them to keep a contract through a scheme to decide listing order.
In addition, an improvement plan includes action guidelines to keep the antitrust laws in dealing with accommodations and thorough notice of the actions to Booking.com Japan. Booking.com is required to report its action results to the commission every year for the next three years.
The commission conducted on-site inspections for Rakuten Travel, Expedia and Booking.com in April 2019 on suspicion of the Anti-Monopoly Act. Rakuten was already approved for its improvement plan by the commission in 2019.