The Commerce Commission says Expedia and Booking.com will amend price and availability parity clauses in their contracts with New Zealand accommodation providers to resolve a Commission investigation.
It says the parity clauses in question had required New Zealand accommodation providers to offer their best price and all their rooms to online travel sites operated by Expedia and Booking.com, including Wotif.com and Hotels.com.
The Commission was investigating whether these clauses were anti-competitive and prevented competing online sites from negotiating better deals directly with accommodation providers.
Commission Chair Mark Berry says the same concerns were raised with Expedia and Booking.com in Australia and Europe, which resulted in each company amending their contracts.
He says the Commission has been monitoring these international developments and engaged with Expedia and Booking.com about making the same contract amendments in New Zealand.
“We are pleased that Expedia and Booking.com have decided to amend their contracts with accommodation providers as they have done overseas,” Dr Berry says.
“The amendments mean accommodation providers can now offer lower rates or tailor special deals for walk-ins, telephone bookings or loyalty members that are separate to the prices they advertise online. They are also no longer required to offer all their rooms on Expedia or Booking.com websites.”