In a leaked paper, which was received by the Austrian Hotel Association (ÖHV), the European Union (EU) supposedly made clear that any abuse of market leverage on online platforms is a hazard to the entire European economy. This included explicit mentions of TripAdvisor and Booking.com.
Markus Gratzer, General Secretary of the ÖHV, deems the unofficially stated insight of the EU as „groundbreaking“, as mentioned in a statement by the ÖHV.
The paper was prepared for EU Digital Inspector Günther Öttinger. In it, it is explicitly stated that the biggest risk factors are not the Internet’s growing importance on the market or its technical progress, but an abuse of market power.
The Austrian Hotel Association expressed their gratitude for the EU’s resolve to eliminate unfair practices. The ÖHV’s General Secretary Markus Gratzer said the following: “The ÖHV was attentive at the right moment and showed me, that online portals need to be pointed out to their bounds. It’s good that the EU decided to put things in motion – even though the official procedures are still going to need some time.”
The ÖHV drew attention to a great reduction of net revenue, even though they provided their services locally: “The EU now wants to put a stop to this,” Gratzer remarked optimistically.
With this letter, the EU commission showed that they want to provide better transparency. This also included self-criticism: “The commission is aware that at this point, KMU cannot even be protected from such enterprises by the EU,” the ÖHV declared.