The European hotel industry and the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels were vindicated this week when the European Commission ruled that online hotel and apartment rental website is considered a “gatekeeper platform”, under the EU’s competition rules.

This means that Booking must comply with the Digital Marketing Act (DMA) within the next six months and establishes a framework that hotel industry experts say will help “fair play”.

Commenting on the ruling, Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market said, “Booking is an important player in the European tourism ecosystem and is now also a designated gatekeeper. We will work to make sure it will fully comply with the DMA obligations within six months.”

According to an announcement by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, the Chamber welcomes the decision saying that the European and Greek hotel industries were fighting for the ruling for a long time, and that their actions included filing a complaint with European Competition Commission about unfair practices related to the digital platform.

The Hellenic Chamber said, “The platform in question took advantage of its dominant position, developing unfair business practices and damaging behaviors with a huge negative impact on their operation. Typical cases are both the continued obstruction of hotels to offer better prices than the platform in their own distribution channels, and its refusal to share sufficient data with the hotels that work with it.”

Now the platform will have to consider the position of the owners and stakeholders and address many related challenges.

The President of the Chamber, Alexandros Vassilikos commented that, “It is a historic decision that vindicates Europe’s hotel industry and changes the rules of the game which until now allowed – according to many complaints from our members – unfair and abusive practices at the expense of hotels on the part of this platform. Hospitality has a lot to offer both in Greece and in Europe. But for it to be able to do so, a necessary condition is healthy competition.” was launched in 1996 and claims to offer more than 28 million listings of accommodations, including more than 6.6 million listings of homes and apartments.


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