Despite tightening up of European competition law to try and improve competition by outlawing or restricting parity clauses in contracts between hotels and third parties, a new study released by the EU competition authorities shows that the moves have had a limited impact on the two biggest OTAs, Expedia and Booking.com.

A study of 16,000 hotels in the 10 Member States, 20 OTAs, 11 metasearch websites and 19 large hotel chains shows that the majority were unaware of the changes or had not done anything about it, and only a quarter decided to change their pricing. 33% said their contract did not allow it, and the same number were scared of being penalised.

The European Competition Network will continue to keep the hotel booking sector under review.

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