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Hotel booking platforms to face legal restrictions

Summary:
Booking.com says it levies a 12% fee on reservations made over its online platform for a variety of services including promotion. © Keystone/Gaetan Bally Parliament has approved restrictions on online reservation platforms to protect the Swiss hotel sector. Senators on Wednesday came out in favour of a legal reform to fight unfair competition. In line with the House of Representatives, the Senate approved proposals to allow hotel websites to undercut prices and other conditions offered by booking platforms. Supporters said the reform would help smaller hotels in Switzerland against increasing international competitors, including the market leader, booking.com. Opponents tried to thwart the amendment, saying the restrictions were not justified and hampered

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Hotel booking platforms to face legal restrictions

Booking.com says it levies a 12% fee on reservations made over its online platform for a variety of services including promotion. © Keystone/Gaetan Bally

Parliament has approved restrictions on online reservation platforms to protect the Swiss hotel sector.

Senators on Wednesday came out in favour of a legal reform to fight unfair competition.

In line with the House of Representatives, the Senate approved proposals to allow hotel websites to undercut prices and other conditions offered by booking platforms.

Supporters said the reform would help smaller hotels in Switzerland against increasing international competitors, including the market leader, booking.com.

Opponents tried to thwart the amendment, saying the restrictions were not justified and hampered innovative firms.

During the debate, Economics Minister Guy Parmelin warned of imposing too many conditions for booking platforms active in the hotel sector.

The CEO of booking.com, Glenn Fogel, rejected allegations that the online platform demanded excessive fees for its customer services provided, including promotion.

Hotels which pushed for restrictions were acting shortsightedly, and they would not benefit from the amendment, he told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper earlier this week.


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