The European Commission said Booking.com would end its “manipulative techniques.” The EU executive, as well as the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, have been working with Booking.com for the whole year, and they said the company was going to put its practices in alignment with EU consumer law.
“As a market leader, it is vital that companies like Booking.com meet their responsibilities in this area,” said Didier Reynders, an EU commissioner for justice and consumers.
Booking.com said it was voluntarily working with the authorities to rectify the issues.
“But ultimately Booking believes in clear legislation and standards that apply to everyone in the industry, in order to create a level playing field and consistent standards for consumers,” the company said.
The changes will be made by June 16.
Booking.com has a practice in which it says “last room available,” but it doesn’t specify that the statement only applies to rooms offered on the website. That practice will end.
The company also agreed to end the time limit option for a booking if the price remains the same after the timer goes off.
The EU also asked that Booking.com present discounts that offer real savings, that show the total price in a way that is easy to understand and also let the buyer know if the deal is offered by a professional or a private host.
Reynders said the EU is going to continuously monitor travel sites to make sure they are complying with EU rules and presenting things in a way that doesn’t take advantage of users. It also will make sure all companies exist on an even playing field.