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Competition concerns in online travel agency market

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is calling for operators of accommodation businesses to voice their concerns about the online travel agency supermarket.

The ACCC has launched a questionnaire in order to re-examine the level of competition in the online travel agency market following concerns over a general lack of competition.

The Accommodation Association Chief Executive Officer, Richard Munro, said “Concerns about a lack of competition in the online travel agency market were raised at the time of Expedia’s takeover of Wotif.com last year.

“These were amplified when operators were recently notified that the other dominant player in the market, Priceline (Booking.com), would increase the commission rate that it charges accommodation operators from 12 per cent to 15 per cent.

Mr Munro has likened the scenario created by these two dominant players to the retail sector which is dominated by two major supermarket chains.

The Accommodation Association will make a submission to the ACCC highlighting important competition policy issues.

“It’s vital that the voices of individual operators of accommodation businesses are heard in this debate, which is why the Accommodation Association would like to see them complete the questionnaire,” Mr Munro said.

“The more that the two leading players are able to dominate the online travel agency market, the more that margins in our industry will be squeezed.”

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Daniel Jacobs

Daniel Jacobs

Daniel Jacobs was editor of Dynamic Business.

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