Danish travel startup Nustay files complaint to regulators – Says Booking, Expedia punish hotels that appear on Nustay
Online travel booking site Nustay A/S has filed a complaint to the European Union’s antitrust regulator, claiming Expedia Group Inc. and Booking Holdings Inc. are trying to “kill off” the startup for offering lower prices and punishing hotels that appear on its site.
The Danish company said the online travel giants were in breach of competition rules by trying to maintain “artificially high price levels” for hotel rooms — thereby potentially trying to keep their commissions high — by preventing Nustay from offering lower prices.
Founded in 2014, Nustay advertises rooms booked at a block rate, as well as direct on-demand booking, in a bid to provide customers cheaper offers than often appear on rival sites. The Danish website also charges low commissions, resulting in better prices for customers but the same earnings for hotels, it says.
Nustay said Expedia and Booking.com downgraded hotels in their search rankings if a hotel’s prices were lower on a competing website, harming the hotels’ ability to land bookings. Hotels, in turn, are pressuring Nustay to raise prices so they wouldn’t lose more business on Booking and Expedia, it added.
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