Case reference: CE/9320/10
In September 2010, the OFT launched a formal investigation into suspected breaches of competition law in the hotel online booking sector, in particular in relation to arrangements between hotels and online travel agents.
On 31 July 2012, the OFT issued a Statement of Objections alleging that Booking.com B.V., Expedia Inc and Intercontinental Hotels Group plc have infringed competition law in relation to the online supply of room only hotel accommodation by online travel agents. The parties now have a full opportunity to respond to the Statement of Objections before the OFT decides whether competition law has in fact been infringed.
For further details, see press release OFT issues Statement of Objections against Booking.com, Expedia and Intercontinental Hotels Group.
No assumption should be made at this stage that there has been an infringement of competition law.
First published: 16 October 2012
|Investigation opened||10 September 2010
|Information gathering, including issuance of formal or informal information requests and parties' responses||September 2010 - June 2012 (actual)|
|- OFT analysis and review of parties' responses to information requests
- Issue of further information requests
- Internal governance processes to decide investigation outcome
|October 2010 - July 2012 (actual)|
|Investigation outcome (issue of Statement of Objections; case closure - see Procedural Guidance)||Statement of Objections issued on 31 July 2012 (actual)
|Period for representations on the Statement of Objections||April 2013
|Oral hearings with parties on written representations on Statement of Objections.||May 2013 (estimate)|
|OFT consideration of parties' written and oral representations on the Statement of Objections||May 2013 - March 2014 (estimate)|
|Final decision on case outcome (whether there has been an infringement; case closure) if no further significant investigative / procedural steps necessary.||April 2014 (estimate)|
|Final decision on case outcome (whether there has been an infringement; case closure) if significant investigative / procedural steps necessary (for example issue of a Supplementary Statement of Objections).||October 2014 (estimate)|
The following changes have been made to the original estimates in the administrative timetable since it was first published in October 2012. See original timetable (pdf 42kb).
|Date of change||Reason for change||Nature of change(s) made to timetable|
|March 2013||Additional time required for procedural steps||Estimated timing of future phases/milestones put back by four months.|
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