Parity Commitments Extended by Expedia and Booking.com
(“Expedia, Booking.com voluntarily extend 'price parity' antitrust commitments, Aug 14, 2020 via MLEX Insight)
While the European Commission continues its re-examination of Expedia’s and Booking.com’s parity practices, both platforms recently announced their decision to extend their so-called “narrow” parity commitments (the commitments by both Expedia and Booking.com were set to expire in July). While the extensions were welcome news for many regulators, hoteliers throughout Europe continue to challenge the effectiveness of the commitments and demand an outright ban on all parity requirements. I doubt we will see much movement on this issue by regulators as the world continues its struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, and regulators are caught up in their ongoing investigations of larger online platforms like Google and Facebook.
Google Adds Trip Planning Functionality
(“Google Adds Trip-Planning Features for Pandemic-Weary Travelers,” Aug 13, 2020 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required)
In an effort to assist travelers with navigating the many COVID-19-related challenges, Google recently added information on flight and hotel availability for select destinations. A new filter introduced by Google this past week allows users to identify hotels and short-term rentals that offer fully refundable rates. Combined with already available information on pandemic-related advisories and restrictions, this latest addition by Google will likely cement Google’s position as travelers’ first, and perhaps only, stop in their online travel planning.
Aug 10, 2020 via Phocus Wire
Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.