Online Travel Update: Russian authorities impose antitrust penalty on Booking.com and individual branded properties decided to join Tripadvisor’s subscription service

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Russian Authorities Impose Anti-Trust Penalty on Booking.com
(“Booking.com Faces $17.5 Million Competition Fine in Russia,” August 26, 2021 via Skift) (subscription may be required)
Russia’s federal antimonopoly service (FAS) announced that it was imposing a $17.5 million dollar fine on Booking.com for its alleged abuse of its market dominant position. The fine comes nine months after FAS accused the online travel agent of violating Russia’s competition laws. Booking.com plans to appeal the fine.

Tripadvisor Plus: While Brands May Not Be Participating, Branded Properties Are
(“TripAdvisor Plus Offers Plenty of Chain Hotels Even If It Is Short on Brand Agreements,” August 25, 2021 via Skift) (subscription may be required)
While most all of the major brands have up until now decided against entering into brand-wide corporate agreements with Tripadvisor’s subscription service, that reluctance hasn’t stopped individual branded properties from appearing on the service – whether intentionally or not. Whether the discounted rates of these individual properties (viewable by both members and non-members of the subscription program) garner the attention of other parity-minded distributors remains to be seen, but if (or when) claims are made (or the discounted rates begin appearing on other channels through the variety of automatic price-matching tools), it will only underscore the brands’ hesitancy to join the subscription program.


Other news:

County Joins Vegas Room-Tax Row With Online Bookers
August 26, 2021 via Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - Business
The county with jurisdiction over the Las Vegas Strip has joined a legal fight to try to collect what attorneys maintain involves millions of dollars in unpaid hotel room taxes owed by more than 20 online travel companies.

TripAdvisor and Airbnb join Google as local search powerhouses
August 23, 2021 via Phocus Wire
Google is the web service of choice for the vast majority of consumers looking for information on local businesses and activities - but a new survey indicates other brands are definitely in the mix.

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