Booking.com fires legal threat at rate widgets, demands hotels switch off

Booking.com has ordered hotels to remove a widget that displays its rates for the property alongside other online travel agencies.

A letter sent to hoteliers which have installed the Price Check widget provided by Triptease have been told they have until the end of this week (November 27) to remove the feature or ensure Booking.com’s branding and rates do not appear.

Triptease’s Price Check widget works by sitting on the result pages of hotel websites, and kicks into action by showing the price for a room at the property at three OTAs.

The idea is that the consumer will see a demonstration “that the price is fair” and potentially book direct with the hotel if it sees that the price is cheaper than on the large OTAs.

Triptease, which took $2 million in funding earlier this year from Episode 1 Ventures and Notion Capital, claims the tool can increase direct hotel bookings by up to 35%.

The Priceline Group-owned hotel booking service says Triptease is “unlawfully accessing” data to collate the information provided on the widget.

Furthermore, it also points out that by showing the data, which it says is “often misleading, inaccurate and misrepresents the prices and availability being for rooms at your hotel on Booking.com”, hotels could be in breach of advertising regulations in the European Union and elsewhere around the world.

The company has instructed its lawyers to pursue the matter with Triptease and says it will also be taking legal action against hoteliers as each will then be considered in breach of their contracts with Booking.com.

Booking.com has declined to comment on any aspect of the story.

The letter in full reads:

Dear Partner,

At Booking.com we pride ourselves in conducting our business in an ethical matter. This business conduct is throughout our business including the respect we take in our accommodation partnership agreements through to the display of all types of information towards our growing new and existing customer base.

It is our belief that we should achieve the right results the right way.

We understand that you are currently making use of a TripTease ‘Price Check Widget’ on your website.

We believe that TripTease is unlawfully accessing Booking.com’s data in order to collate the Booking.com information shown by the widget. Moreover, we wanted to make you aware that the Booking.com price and availability information shown by the widget is often misleading, inaccurate and misrepresents the prices and availability being offered for rooms at your hotel on Booking.com.

As you will know, misleading comparative advertising is a breach of European law in the European Union and in many other jurisdictions around the world.

We have instructed our external lawyers to pursue this matter with TripTease. We are prepared to take whatever action is necessary to protect Booking.com, our reputation and our data. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes taking legal action against our Partners to the extent they are in breach of their contracts with us – although we hope that will not be necessary.

In some cases, the TripTease widget suggests that the price of booking a room direct is cheaper than the price offered through Booking.com. As you know, pursuant to your contract with us, you are required to provide Booking.com with parity in respect of the prices for your rooms. If you are not currently providing Booking.com with the correct prices in accordance with your contract, we ask that you do so immediately.

If you are providing us with the correct prices, it may be that the widget is simply not capable of making the correct price comparison and is therefore failing to show an accurate price for the comparable reservation with Booking.com. Nevertheless, by displaying any such inaccurate prices on your website, you are engaging in the misleading comparative advertising practices referred to above.

As such, we require you, as our Partner, to remove the Booking.com brand and rates from the widget on your website prior to Friday 27 November 2015. If you are unable to do this, we ask that you remove the TripTease widget from your website entirely. Please confirm by immediate return letter or email to your local account manager that you will, and will continue to, comply with our request.

To the extent that you do not reply or fail to comply with our reasonable requests in this regard, Booking.com’s rights are reserved – including to take such legal action as we deem necessary.

We also wish to take the opportunity to reiterate that you are an important Partner to Booking.com and we value our relationship with you. Indeed, we look forward to it continuing into the future.

Triptease CEO Charlie Osmond tells Tnooz the company was created to improve the booking experience for travellers, claiming that they “waste millions of hours opening multiple tabs as they check and double-check the rates online”.

He says the impact of the widget has been “dramatic” for hoteliers.

“This proves what we have suspected for years – many people prefer to book direct, they understand that hoteliers would prefer them to book direct and when we demonstrate that the direct price is at parity with the OTA prices, more people choose to book direct.

Osmond claims the service is “not a war against OTAs”, adding:

“We believe Booking.com delivers a great deal of value to hotels and consumers. But they also suck a lot of value, especially from the independent hotelier.”

The issue, Osmond says, has come to light because “Booking.com want to snatch transparency away from the public”.

“Enough is enough. Transparency is good for competition, it is good for consumers and it is crazy-good for hotels.”

Here is a short clip on how the Triptease system works:

Issues elsewhere

Meanwhile, Tnooz knows of another technology company, based in the US, that has a similar, but not identical, dynamic price tracking widget as part of its product suite.

That technology provider claims that last spring the Priceline Group asked it to either shut down its product or make changes to the product that the provider deemed unreasonable. The provider did neither.

One of that provider’s clients is a major US hotel. That hotel was threatened by Priceline Group that it would be removed from the group’s search listings unless it stopped using the provider’s third-party widget, claims the technology provider.

An executive from the hotel declined to speak to Tnooz. The technology provider declined to speak on the record.

That said, the technology provider did make a persuasively believable case to Tnooz that Priceline Group had indeed asked it to shut down its widget functionality, partly due to claims of infringement of its intellectual property.

An executive familiar with the matter speculated to Tnooz that Priceline Group’s main concern might be that the various micro-meta widgets were exposing rate differentials that undercut rate parity and similar rate-matching agreements between online travel companies and hotels.

Sometimes, OTAs were undercutting hotels on rates, despite agreements. Sometimes, hotels were undercutting OTAs, despite agreements.

It’s unclear if micro-meta widgets could help strengthen rate parity, or if they might weaken it. Rate parity has been legally upheld in the US and is a mainstay of third-party distribution practices in the country.

Related agreements that could be affected include Most Favored Nations clauses (a horizontal price constraint) or Resale Price Maintenance (a vertical price constraint).

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.

 

Comments

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  1. Maddy

    Price comparison has become an important step in the booking journey. Rate comparison tool on Hotel’s brand website only reassures the price sensitive shopper, objective is not push sell mechanism. Rather it encourages a more confident book decision. As a hotelier I would give more weightage to brand-site conversion ratio, Return on ad spends and Total ROI. Of course depends on what the strategic direction is…
    Value & Loyal bookers of a brand will go beyond just looking at the Price widget anytime. With all the visibility & transparency, it is even more critical now that Hotels need to get their segmentation and pricing right.

     
  2. Keith

    We can only hope that TripTease and the hotels will win this battle. The hotels should band together and make this a huge legal and media event. I think the traveling public would love to see how the OTA’s are in fact not the providers of low rates but one of the reasons rates are so high. Keeping helpful tools away from the hotels and consumers it another example of predatory practices from the OTA’s.

     
  3. duke

    Dear Triptease,

    I love your concept. I don’t use OTA’s or I would use your widget.
    Since reading the below comments, it occurs to me, since the rates for OTAs are set by hotels. Could Triptease not tie in to the hotels PMS and grab the rates directly from the hotels rate settings. For instance, my PMS lets me set rates for all the OTAs within the PMS, I can adjust the rate given to an OTA up or down by a percentage point or dollar amount. So for instance, If I have a rack rate of $100 I can set Booking.com automatically to $110 and Expedia to $115. It should be easy for Triptease to gain that rate data directly from the hotel PMS and then put a disclaimer on the widget saying “TTWidget rates based on actual rates this hotel provides to OTAxxxxx ” ..

     
    • Evan

      Duke, You are right in a way, they could take from the PMS if there wasn’t so many of them around, or even from the channel managers… 100s of those too! One thing you forget is that some hotels complain that Expedia and it’s affiliates can sell the hotels own rooms cheaper than the hotel itself as it can take payment from the customer. They make a smaller commission but steal the sale, they will never admit to doing this intentionally of course. This is why it is important to check the OTA prices properly.

       
  4. Steve Sherlock

    Disclaimer: I’m neither a hotelier, an OTA nor any other complict of interest that I know of (oh but I have stayed in a hotel and used booking.com many times 😉

    If were a forward thinking hoteliers – I’d be using OTA as lead generation (i.e. to get new customers) and then deploy the benchmark methods to build a one-to-one relationship with the customer to get their repeat stays.

    I know when I’ve marketing car rental online – I was paying Google 100% of the margin to acquire new customers and hence I made sure we got the repeat bookings direct.

    So given OTA’s are presumably not taking 100% of a hoteliers margin – it would seem hoteliers achieve a reasonably good ROI – which can (and should, IMV) be re-invested into customer retention.

    If were Booking.com – I would step down from your (imaginary) moral high ground, communicate with your suppliers with more respect and just get on with your mission. (oh and get a new PR person)

     
    • Valentin Dombrovsky

      Marketing 101, but easier said than done.

       
    • duke

      This IS what “backward thinking” lazy hoteliers do! Just roll over and use booking.com since they are ‘so big, we have to”

      But as I wrote before, when booking.com sponsors your business name on adwords, they are not bringing you only new customers that you would not have gotten. They are tricking google users into thinking they are booking direct to the hotel when its actually booking.com’s site. So all the hard work a hotel does to achieve high google rankings is instantly undermined by booking.com and booking.com gets the hotel itself to pay for the adwords clicks in the form of a commission. Brilliant but Dastardly!

      If hotels would just band together and collective bargain and say NO TO RATE PARITY, it would be a non issue. Booking.com provides a service to users “price comparison” and the user should pay more for that added benefit. Instead, booking.com tacitly strong arms hotels into subsidizing the user benefit through commission and rate parity. If hotels could/would give booking.com a 10% higher rate than the hotels own website it would be a fair situation. But I would still argue its not fair of booking.com to sponsor “Your Hotel Name” keywords and then put “Your Hotel Name” in the adwords text. This falsely implies to user they are going direct to the hotel’s site and booking direct. Its legal, but its dirty and most hotels don’t see it, or are not forward thinking so booking.com retains its market share. But eventually booking.com will be displaced by a more benevolent metasearch giant that works with hotels. Why the big hotels don’t create their own metasearch site and then let in small players is beyond me. Its like the networks creating hulu instead of giving content to Netflix. No brainer! Or Airbnb should contract with large hotels and sell their inventory at low-zero commission in order to gain market share. Like Square partnered with Starbucks. Square lost money on each sale but what percent of the population was instantly trained to be comfortable with Square mobile payments?… Priceless.

       
    • Evan

      Steve, You are missing certain points that are unique to the hotel trade. Only a small amount of people will visit regularly and most of them will book with an OTA every time as its their habit and it’s the same price. Hotels really need to start educating the customer to book direct and hotels need to give incentives to book direct as without incentives they will book on the OTA’s.

       
      • Steve Sherlock

        I think you’re right Evan, because OTA’s can’t (readily) offer on-site ancillary items/incentives such as: wine, meals, massages, parking, upgrades, in-house movies, early checkin, late checkout, hotel points etc etc

        However; how many hotel booking sites actually integrate such in-path ancillary items as upgrades, incentives, rewards etc? (rhetorical question) Hence, my view is that hotel’s ‘uniquely’ don’t leverage, nearly enough, the ‘unique’ assets they have at their disposal, to condition travelers to book more often direct.

        Airlines are generally experts at selling and leveraging all the extras ($49B / 2014) – to entice travellers to book direct on their sites. Maybe hotels should take a leaf out of the airlines book in this regard.

        btw I presume all the hotel extras – would fall outside of any rate parity agreements? (be interesting to know if that is correct)

         
    • Mel

      well said!

       
  5. Joy

    So if I got this right, TripTease (who should be thanking Bookings.com for the fantastic exposure of their name) MAY be showing incorrect rates in SOME hotels’ own websites SOME of the time, when the hotels are only showing their own products and prices… And they claim this without offering any proof or court ruling. And they are taking action because they BELIEVE that the rates are accessed illegally. And Bookings.com MAY take legal action so everyone, irrespectively of if they are showing incorrect pricing or not, should make sure they drop Bookings.com from their TripTease tool right away. Because Bookings.com is like the name of him who should not be named. And all this because Bookings.com is ethical. Did I get all that right?
    Great. Just Great.

     
    • Dennis Pitcock

      Hoteliers should realize the OTAs have their best interests in mind. They will fight tooth and nail for the hoteliers when the interests are aligned, and against hoteliers when they are not. The same goes for meta, although they have skin in the game with meta, considering their parent companies are advisors, investors, or own them.

      If these widgets are really leading to a decline in the OTA bookings, specifically Booking.com’s then I suggest the following:
      -Add more value: Hotels and their groups have reward systems that are doing great. b,c’s leve offers from hoteliers to rather than give rewards from their own revenues. Orbitz pulls it off, perhaps b.c/priceline should revisit their reward structures. They can get really creative if all their sister companies are on board (like what the hotels do)
      – Differentiate their product. Focus on the value prop to consumers over booking direct. User cases where the guest has been walked far off and b.c helped remedy the situation could help.
      – Join em – Give TripTease an API to ensure their rates are correct, on the grounds that their rates are clickable. Perhaps they can obtain some analytics to better determine how to adapt down the line, or buy them up in the future and make it part of the booking suite. ha

       
      • Thomas Allier

        Agree with your point. OTAs should provide triptease with feed/API to ensure pricing accuracy. On the front-end side, triptease should make sure OTAs fare are clickable and include referral tracking.
        The widget post-click revenues would be shared between : 1. The Hotel (affiliate) 2. Triptease (tech intermediary) 3. The OTA
        Extra sales for OTA, sustainable revenues for TripTease, incremental conversion for the Hotel website : everybody win.

         
      • Maddy

        TripTease did bring a fresh perspective to the game of online customer acquisition and direct booking. I think B.com should stop playing bully and embrace the revolution.

         
  6. Frank Reeves

    The problem with growing direct bookings is that hotels are have been very mislead by too many vendors claiming they are the worlds best at doing helping them to do this. It’s a challenging space and its all about results and proven track record at doing this. To the best of my knowledge – Avvio are the only company that is confident enough to GUARANTEE to hotels that they grow direct bookings. Plug over.

     
  7. wamu

    @Mark: perfectly said! Hotels need to find solutions for direct bookings, the balance in the market is fully out of order. And market power is a great thing, it will rebalance. It is hilarious what they do. You have to persuade and win through customer experience and results, the day you start threatening your customers, you have made the first step down, even if it will take long.

     
  8. Adriano

    Great article, as usual, Kevin. This is certainly a troubling attitude on Booking.com’s part. Very troubling.

     
  9. I. Wonder

    If a hotel is bound by the party principle, the prices on that widget should always be the same, no? Why do you then need to scrape data from the OTAs?

     
    • Dennis Pitcock

      Pairity is illegal in some EU countries. Most likely more to come. The major OTA’s are in an identity crisis determining how they will handle this. Even where parity is legal, being out-of-pairity is de-facto, with most of the time the operator is unaware.

       
  10. francois

    TripTease provid like tripadvisor.com a littel widget that show the rates of most OTAs , I personally dont see where TripTease goes wrong, rates are pick up from web place accessible to all but just get all the info in one spot to enable the client to make a quicker choice. Most probably the big OTA got a little shaken loosing ground but isnt it free market?

     
  11. aoms

    i might asking stupid question but i just cant understand if the rate via all otas was issued from hotel its own, why they need a thirdparty widget to tell the prices differences…

     
  12. Mike

    It is quite laughable that Booking is threatening this. They buy up companies keywords, push up pricing and vids of online ads, force people into parity, use their express deal tactics to get ahead of other OTAs, but now someone is using similar tactics and they up in arms. Ridiculous I hope they lose.

     
  13. Mark

    It’s laughable that booking.com is threatening hotels and tripltease for scraping it’s data. Firstly the hotel owns the data. More importantly booking.com purchases scraped rate data of its competitors from Rate Gain so is complicit in scraping other OTAs. Also, price match scrapes rates from other OTAs. That’s how it works! So booking.com directly scrapes competitor OTA sites. Booking.com is renowned for being the industry bully but before they continue bullying their hotel customers and useful startups like tripttease they should consider what will happen when people start lifting the covers on their own practices – and this will happen if they continue down this path. They also find it acceptable to try and steam roll the tech providers that were supplying with room inventory while they were growing. Now they are the big dog they are biting the hand that feeds them by competing directly with those suppliers with their launch of booking suite. The good thing is they are so arrogant that they won’t see the writing on the wall and already the entire industry resents and even hates them. This is clearly a move to prevent small hotel from being successful by having competitive rates on their own website. I personally think there is a case here for anti competitive behaviour – class action anyone?

     
    • Dennis Pitcock

      Plus, the legal ground for this threat is that price comparison = comparison advertising, which is illegal in many EU countries. If that is the case, then wouldn’t the metasearch companies be illegal too? What if their ruling gets their Kayak shut down? They’d prob be OK considering TripAdvisor, esp Trivago and Skyscanner sells more CPc/CPM adds and then them in Europe anyways (with them being a huge customer). If anything, they should give Triptease a direct API so the price is right on the grounds the link is clickable. Ha. API. They prop still use XML.

       
  14. Mya Toreeva

    There are a few things I do not understand in this war between hotels and OTAs:
    1. Participation on Booking.com is voluntary. So why don’t all the hotels dissatisfied with its services just take their inventory down.
    2. You have full control over what inventory and at what price you give Booking.com. Same with the participation in Genius or any other special rates. So how are they “taking” hotel’s inventory?
    3. I work in a hotel, and there is no way that we could bring the percentage of guests that Booking.com brings to us by using the budget that we would create by not paying any commissions to the OTA.
    4. Any Booking.com links, buttons or widgets can be taken down from hotels’ websites and social media at our own will.
    So are we, hoteliers, just angry about their marketing budget? Why don’t we all use all the means that we have at hand to do what is best for us.

     
    • Valentin Dombrovsky

      Sorry, Mya, are you asking why hoteliers use Booking.com as a channel and at the same time claim that you can’t stop using this channel yourself? It seems to me that you’re answering your own question in your comment. Hoteliers use it because it’s biggest channel for most of them. And at the same time it pisses the off because it can dictate its own rules being the biggest channel and hoteliers don’t like it.
      For example, you say that hoteliers are free to provide any price to Booking.com and that’s right… while they’re compliant with rate parity provisions which Booking.com mentions in its letter to “partners”. And these provisions have been a topic of discussion for quite a long time.

      The question why hoteliers can’t effectively compete with Booking.com as a channel is a question which leads us to the customer needs and why Booking.com is convenient for customers to use.

       
  15. Ed St Onge

    Rather than jumping on a hate OTA bandwagon read the details of the claim. Also read the ridiculous claims triptease makes. Triptease claims better data quality than any other rate tool by a large margin. They claim to have tens of thousands of clients. An important point is if they don’t collect the data in a way that conforms to the OTA’s site policy then they are stealing data. Their tool illegally uses the OTA’s branding in a manner that is actually damaging to that brand. If they are in fact displaying incorrect data that but represent it a true and correct then they are breaking many laws regarding misleading consumers. Transparency isn’t what booking.com is fighting it’s fighting unethical and deceiving business practices. Luckily this is an actual law in most parts of the world, so we we actually see the governments chime in on this and the true story will be exposed. I think Booking.com went about this the right way, and I’m sure this action came after multiple attempts to get triptease to correct the issue with no avail. Let’s not confuse dissatisfaction with legal business practices of booking.com and business practices that violate laws.

     
  16. duke

    This article makes me FURIOUS!

    @($(% Booking.com and their rate parity and bad business practices.
    Booking.com want all your inventory at the lowest prices. Then they sponsor YOUR BUSINESS NAME keywords on GOOGLE adwords. If you had top placement in organic search results, booking.com google ad will appear ABOVE your own website. Guests think they are booking direct, but booking.com is using the commission hotels pay booking.com to advertise on top of the hotel itself. Booking.com builds its brand at the expense of hotel’s margins. Its a losing proposition for the hotel.
    They are bullies. All large and small hotels should boycott them.
    Some hotel association should sue booking.com to REQUIRE that they remove your business information from their site if you cancel your contract with them. For awhile after I stopped giving them inventory, the booking.com microsite for my lodge was still showing up above my own website in search results. If users clicked there, booking.com implied we were fully booked. NO AVAILABILITY. and showed competing local lodges availability on the microsite page with my business name. This is akin to blackmail and many lodges feel they MUST give booking.com inventory when they see that. I say run for the hills and DO NOT ‘partner’ with booking.com. Cancelling my booking.com contract was the best thing I ever did. If you read about TripAdvisor and other OTA’s they aren’t much better. OTAs always sent me the most problematic guests anyway. They don’t manage expectations well on their microsite and give guests misleading minimal details.

    HOTELS must always offer the cheapest price on their own website.
    Triptease will win this legal battle. How can it be illegal to mention what prices are on other websites?
    Rate Parity clauses will be illegal. Cancel your booking.com contract and don’t give them any inventory unless they remove that clause from your contract. Only give booking.com inventory with prices 10% higher than your own website. Booking.com will still get reservations on their site due to excellent price comparison search results between different hotels.
    Hotels should compete with other hotels on price. Not with their own price on different sites.
    Someday, a large hotel association representing lodgings large and small will form and collective bargain with OTA’s for lower commissions and fair behavior in search and marketing so that everyone wins . Please let that day come soon.
    Alternatively, Airbnb has a reasonable fee structure where the lodging pays a small commission (covers CC fees as such) and the guest pays a booking fee. Airbnb has its own issues, but at least the commission is fair.
    Google is playing nice at the moment and displays my lodge as the first result in search results and since google doesn’t find OTA pricing to list next to my result in google hotel results, they provide a link to my website direct. Perfect. My local visitors center is like a mini OTA for our town. They provide a link to my website and advertising year round for our town. They are a non-profit that invests in building the town as the brand. Booking.com and OTAs just suck the profit out of the community to build their own brand.

     
    • Colin Brownlee

      When Booking.com bought Buuteeq (now BookingSuite) that was the one blog article that was quickly removed from the Buuteeq site. It featured how important it was as a hotel to buy your own trade name on Google Adwords. All these OTA’s built their whole business model on other people’s trade names and we let them do it.

       
    • Confused

      Quote 1: “HOTELS must always offer the cheapest price on their own website.”

      Quote 2: “Hotels should compete with other hotels on price. Not with their own price on different sites.”

      Very good logic

       
  17. Ranjitha Rallabhandi

    Trip Advisor compares the rates of about 9 OTAs. And it gives the best rates given by each of the OTA based on the check in and check out rates. But it never gives the link of the hotel directly. It’s completely up to the guest, whether or not to check the hotels’ Websites.

    Hotels are crazily greedy to be contracted with OTAs (OTAs part is fine) such as Bookings.com, hotel.com, agoda.com, expedia.com etc and at the same time, share their bar rates with a Triptease, who eventually seems to be teasing the total OTA concept.

    Hotels must refrain from being dual minded. Hotel management should either choose to do business with OTAs or run full-house with the help of their own website!

     
    • Valentin Dombrovsky

      Sorry, but you’re wrong in all points.
      1. Tripadvisor has Direct Connect programme for properties: https://www.tripadvisor.com/TripConnect
      2. Any hotelier will tell you that there should be balance between different booking channels and it’s not good to ignore any of them. Direct customers have higher value for hotels, but it doesn’t mean that OTAs must not be used at all.

       
  18. Frank Reeves

    Bullied indeed! yet another futile effort to stifle innovation and consumer transparency online. We’ve been advising clients on this for the last few days. We’re calling on hoteliers to hang tight and show a united front until at least there is a firm legal ruling between Booking.com and Triptease. We believe legal suppositions shouldn’t cut the cloth here and we’ve called on a number of Hospitality Industry Bodies to review the situation and show support to their members.

     
  19. Glenn Wallace

    Don’t the properties and chains themselves pass the price and availability to Booking for their allocation/channel? I’m not sure how I’d react getting a letter from a distribution channel telling me they owned the prices and availability my property sells for on their site…. (Note: comments are my own)

     
  20. Roger

    TripTease should stop stealing data and build something novel. Wait until the patent trolls start barking. They violate three different patents.

     
  21. Steve Sherlock

    reads like bullying to me

     
  22. Dorian

    “At Booking.com we pride ourselves in conducting our business in an ethical matter.”

    What’s “ethical matter” when it’s at home?

     
  23. Dave Spector

    What happens when TripTease shows LOWER prices for the OTAs than the direct hotel website?
    Surely, this must happen often…. driving lots of price-conscious shoppers back to the OTAs.

     
    • Andy

      You’d think so… but I believe TripTease is designed to switch itself off or not show at all when the hotel doesn’t have parity or a cheaper rate than the OTAs…

       
    • Charlie Osmond

      Hi Dave,
      Good question. To be clear, our goal is to provide increased transparency. There was a suggestion in the article that Price Check only works when hotels are cheaper than OTAs. It has also been alleged that our goal is to encourage or help hotels undercut the OTAs. Both are inaccurate.

      We are trying to address a long-standing misperception among consumers that hotels are more expensive than OTAs. This is why our analytics tool alerts hotels when they are undercut so that they can address these issues immediately. We believe transparency will improve parity adherence on both sides of the market.

       
    • Miguel

      Travel Tripper’s booking engine comes with a native price comparison widget. If it finds a lower price on an OTA site, it matches it in real time…. within reason, protecting against run-away losses.

       
  24. Dan Visser

    I placed a price of price comparison content on my hotel website some time ago to show browsers how rate parity really works and was contacted very quickly by booking.com and threatened. This action and bidding on my brand clearly remove OTAs from the Partner status they claim. Non existent discounts etc will alienate their clients sooner or later. Lets work together again rather than being forced to compete for our own customers

     
  25. Nicole Y

    Booking.com’s move against a client focused technology shows its soft underbelly, a lack of confidence in its value proposition and true colors as a so called “partner” to its hotels. Bad move booking.com.

     
  26. Thomas Artiref

    > At Booking.com we pride ourselves in conducting our business in an ethical matter

    Is that a joke ?

     
    • Viko Bhakta

      +1. Isn’t Priceline the company that owes $Bs in occupancy tax to US municipalities across the US? Plus, they go to legal battle with each state to not remit full occupancy tax the state, such an ethical company. Another day, another online incumbent fearful for their mobile life decides legal is their best solution. When you rely on lawyers, instead of innovation, to protect your future — you’re in trouble. For online incumbents, 2015 was their peak year & it took 15-20 years to get here. The fall will be much quicker, mobile will disrupt online 3x faster than online disrupted offline. If you’re business can be disrupted by a widget, do you have a real business or simply a bigger Google Adwords Marketing budget.

       
  27. Valentin Dombrovsky

    I-interesting.

    Triptease competitor Clicktripz was talking at Phocuswright conference that, unlike Triptease, it uses OTA APIs and provides opportunity to book on OTAs via its widget. And they predicted that OTAs might not like Triptease practice.

     
    • Gautam Lulla

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Clicktripz places outbound deep-links to the OTAs in their widget – so users can go from the hotel site to book on the OTA site. I’m sure the OTAs like this. Feels like Clicktripz could have been created by (one of) the OTAs.

      It’s possible that Clicktripz also earns a CPA affiliate fee for driving traffic to the OTAs. I wonder if they share that revenue with the hotels?

      Hmm!!!!

       
      • Valentin Dombrovsky

        You’re right that they put deep links to OTAs websites and that they earn affiliate commissions from OTAs. Don’t think that they were created by some OTA, but it seems that they’re in good relations with them.

         
      • Nikolas Hall

        you are on the ball……..

         
 
 

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