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Japan’s Watchdog OKs Commitments By Booking.com

 |  March 22, 2022

The Japan Fair Trade Commission has concluded a review of internet platform Booking.com B.V. in accordance with the provisions of the Antimonopoly Act, under suspicion that several conducts detected by the authority might fall foul of the Unfair Trade Practices Act. 

The JFTC challenged Booking.com over the platform’s Parity clauses, which sought to influence the pricing of hotels and inns in Japan, forcing them to give the platform better or equal prices than they did to rival booking services.

The authority’s decision recognized that Booking.com BV would be able to apply for the Commitment Procedure in order to remedy the JFTC’s concerns and promptly restoring competition and eliminating the offending conducts in a timely manner. The JFTC issued the Notice of Commitment Procedures to Booking.com B.V. on December 17, 2021. 

Booking.com B.V. submitted an application to the JFTC for approval of the planned measures to eliminate the conducts mentioned by the authority. The JFTC was satisfied that the company’s plan would fulfill the follwing approval requirements: (i) the measures are sufficient for eliminating the conducts mentioned, and (ii) the measures are expected to be reliably conducted; hence, the JFTC approved the Commitment Plan pursuant to Article 48-3(3) of the Act. 

It is noted that the JFTC’s approval of the Commitment Plan does not represent a determination that the conducts of Booking.com B.V. constitute a violation of the Act.

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