European Union agrees to OTA transparency laws
European Union agrees to OTA transparency laws
23 JANUARY 2019 9:55 AM

UKHospitality announced it applauds the proposal agreed to by the European Union’s Committee on Internal Market & Consumer Protection to ensure transparency and fairness in online marketplaces and comparison services, which includes online travel agencies and related sites.

LONDON, 23 January 2019--UKHospitality has welcomed measures to support hospitality businesses and provide clarity for customers.

The EU Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection has approved proposals to ensure transparency and fairness in online marketplaces and comparison services. The proposals:

  • Prohibit online platforms from displaying hidden paid placements in product rankings resulting from a consumer online search;
  • Consider as a misleading practice not to inform consumers about the main parameters determining the ranking of products on online platforms;
  • Increase transparency on the authenticity of reviews published by comparison websites;
  • Require online platforms to inform consumers if products are sold by professional traders or not and if EU consumer law applies to the transactions.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “It is helpful to see the EU Parliament moving forward positively to safeguard consumers and businesses. Action to provide transparency around online booking platforms will ensure there is a level and fair playing field. Both businesses and customers will be protected, and this is something UKHospitality has been working hard with partners such as HOTREC to secure.

“This is a welcome first step to secure transparency around the still relatively foggy realm of online platforms. We hope that it can be used as impetus to deliver even more fairness and clarity regarding digital disruptors, which will be used to protect hospitality businesses and their customers. The UK Government now needs to act and adopt domestic regulation of OTAs to support hospitality businesses and their customers.”

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