The Austrian Hotel Association (ÖHV) announced that it will take steps to protect its members from the rate parity on various booking platforms. According to recent reports, the association is preparing a lawsuit in order to facilitate legal security.
In 2012, the hotel association made their first complaint against best price clauses at the federal court. So far, there have not been any results from this procedure, which only referred to HRS.
HRS, the market leader of that time, has since been replaced by booking.com. According to a market survey by the ÖHV and “Fachverband Hotellerie”, more than 93 percent of Austrian hotels had a contract with booking.com last summer. Around 67 percent worked with HRS, 53 percent with Expedia. According to the survey, 3.5 percent of hotels do their business without any booking portals.
The ÖHV is arming itself to fit these new developments. The hotel association is calling for legal security across all platforms. The rate parity on Austrian portals has not been banned and the lawsuit against HRS is still without a solution. This is why the association is considering a suit at the court of cartel law, which is superior to the federal competition authority.
“We are preparing a lawsuit for the case that we do not have any other way to facilitate legal security,” said Martin Stanits of the ÖHV. The Austrian Hotel Association’s main aim is to provide legal security to its members. They will refrain from suing if this could be done any other way.