The German Federal Court of Justice rules that an online hotel booking platform’s “narrow” best price clause violates antitrust law (Booking.com)

On May 18, 2021, the Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”) ruled that Booking.com’s “narrow” best price clause violates Article 101 (1) TFEU (the cartel prohibition) as well. Thereby the FCJ overruled the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf which held that “narrow” best price clauses were not anti-competitive, but an ancillary restraint necessary to carry out the – otherwise neutral – platform contract entered into between Booking.com and the participating hotels using the platform (“ancillary restraints doctrine”). “Narrow” best price clauses as restraints of competition Booking.com operated a clause, that prohibited participating hotels from offering their rooms on their own website

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Stephan Waldheim, Maren Steiert, The German Federal Court of Justice rules that an online hotel booking platform’s “narrow” best price clause violates antitrust law (Booking.com), 18 May 2021, e-Competitions May 2021, Art. N° 101165

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