Booking.com rebuffs block

April 4, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Technology, Trade Talk

BANGKOK, 4 April 2017: Booking.com is filing an appeal against a Turkish court injunction that blocked the popular travel website in Turkey.

In a statement to TTR Weekly, Monday, Booking.com said the court blocked the site’s domestic bookings in Turkey.

“We disagree with the injunction and are in the process of filing an appeal. However, Booking.com always abides by local law,” the statement read.

A Turkish commercial court ordered the blocking of travel website Booking.com, last Wednesday, over alleged unfair competition that its hotel and flight reservations platform posed to local firms.

Legal action was initiated by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies known as Tursab.

“The decision has been taken to halt the unfair competition activities of Booking.com in a case brought by Tursab,” the association said in a statement on its website last week.

Booking.com said it was “complying with the injunction right now,” but there was no need to switch off the website” for Turkish customers completely.

“This means that Turkish customers can continue to use our service when travelling abroad, and Booking.com will continue to make Turkish accommodations available to international travellers visiting Turkey.”

It added: “As an e-commerce company and technology provider, we firmly believe that we are contributing to healthy competition in the marketplace by providing Turkish consumers with a transparent and convenient platform to compare and book accommodation all over the world.”

It claimed to drive valuable incremental business for more than 13,000 Turkish accommodation providers of all kinds throughout the country.

“We have strong confidence in a positive outcome and hope that our Turkish customers will soon be able to enjoy our service for their domestic travel,” the statement concluded.

The travel agency association, Tursab said Turkey’s competition authority had fined the Dutch-based internet operator, 2.5 million Turkish pounds (some USD700,000).

Founded in 1996 the online travel agency became a subsidiary of the US Priceline Group in 2005.

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