Today, on September 21, the RIA Novosti news outlet, with reference to the Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service Peter Ivanov, reported that the FAS intends to sue the Booking.com accommodation booking service if the company does not pay the previously established fine of 1 , 3 billion rubles. Ivanov said that earlier the FAS had no problems with paying fines:
“Foreign companies, which were supposed to pay fines by the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, were paid them,” explained Pyotr Ivanov.
The fact is that back in August of this year, the FAS fined Booking.com an impressive amount for the fact that the accommodation booking service abused its dominant position in the market. According to the FAS, the service dictated to its partners certain requirements for price parity – under these conditions, partners could not place, for example, booking a hotel at a lower cost on another service. Representatives of the antimonopoly service contacted Booking.com and demanded to exclude this condition from the contract, but, as it turned out, the company did not comply with this requirement.
For this reason, the FAS fined the company 1.3 billion rubles, but Booking.com has already filed an application with the arbitration court demanding that this sanction be declared illegal. In addition, Ivanov said that the fulfillment of the FAS requirements regarding price parity should positively affect the cost of living in Russian hotels:
“The solution will definitely promote competition in this sector and allow other aggregators to also provide services on a competitive basis with Booking.com. Indirectly, of course, this should also affect the price, ”Ivanov said.
Unfortunately, there is no information on what sanctions will be applied to Booking.com in the event of legal proceedings.