18 March – 23rd antitrustitalia lunch

Parity clauses in the online hotel booking sector – what’s going on?”


Dear Friends,

Antitrustitalia’s 23rd Antitrust Lunch is scheduled on Wednesday 18 March 2015 at Confindustria Bruxelles (Av. de la Joyeuse Entrée 1 – 1040 Bruxelles – Metro Schuman)

Paul Bridgeland, case handler at DG COMP and Matthias Hunold, from the Chief Economist Team, will give a presentation in English on:

“Parity clauses in the online hotel booking sector – what’s going on?”

The French, Swedish and Italian competition authorities have recently completed a joint market test of commitments proposed by the online travel agent, The commitments are intended to address perceived competition concerns relating to parity clauses in’s standard contracts with hotels. Under the parity clauses, the hotels are requested to offer the same or better room prices as the hotel makes available on all other online and offline distribution channels. Meanwhile, in Germany the BKartA has prohibited the parity clause of the German online travel agent, HRS. This decision has recently been upheld on appeal. The European Commission is coordinating the work of the national authorities, but it has not opened its own investigation.

Paul Bridgeland is a case handler in Unit F-1 at DG COMP (Antitrust – Transport, Post and other services). He returned to DG COMP in early 2014, having previously worked in the food and pharmaceuticals antitrust unit, and before that as a commercial solicitor in the UK.

Matthias Hunold joined the Chief Economist Team at DG COMP in 2013. Before that, he completed a PhD in competition economics at Mannheim University and worked as a researcher at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW).

Refreshments will be provided at 12.30, the presentation will begin at 13.00 and will finish at 14:30.

Please confirm your attendance at: Entrance is free for antitrustitalia members. For non-members, there will be a fee of €15 to cover the cost of the lunch. Receipts can be printed from Eventbrite directly.

As space is limited, please let us know if you are unable to attend, so that we can offer your place to other colleagues. For the non-members who will notify the cancellation by Monday 16 March, the fee will be reimbursed directly from Eventbrite.

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