Turkish officials set to hold new meeting with top representatives from Booking.com
İZMİR/ANKARATurkey will meet top representatives from Booking.com over an economic and commercial formula which may end a controversy over the website’s unfair competition moves, according to a top economy official.
Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said that Booking.com is a key instrument in marketing Turkey’s tourism, but the website needs to run in line with fair competition laws and comply with Turkey’s rules.
“In this regard, we have offered a formula to a top delegation from the website. They have now requested a new meeting at the top level. We will meet soon,” he said, as quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency on Aug. 6.
He noted that the Economy Ministry has also been in talks with the Culture and Tourism Ministry over the issue.
“We made an economic and commercial offer to the website. I want to meet the website representatives quite soon,” Zeybekci added.
He had held a meeting in previous months to resolve the issue.
The Competition Board fined the website a monetary fine in January, citing its moves violated fair competition rules.
An Istanbul court ordered the suspension of the activities of the website in Turkey on March 29, citing accusations of unfair competition, following a lawsuit filed by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB).
The website, which had around 13,000 hotel members from Turkey, halted selling rooms in Turkey to Turkish users on March 30, one day after the court decided to block the website in the country. The website can still be used from foreign countries to make reservations for Turkish hotels and from Turkey to make reservations abroad.