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Booking.com suspended in Turkey

A Turkish court has announced the temporary closure of the hotel booking website Booking.com in the country in order to prevent unfair competition with travel agencies.

As part of a trial launched by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB), a Turkish court has announced the temporary suspension of Booking.com's activities in the country because of unfair competition. As the case is ongoing, it is temporarily a preventive measure implemented for an undefined period. Moreover, it only concerns hotel bookings made by Turkish people in Turkey. Foreigners will be allowed to continue using the platform to find accommodations in the country, as well as Turkish people who wish to make reservations abroad.

Following the Turkish court ruling, Booking.com declared:  "We are contesting the decision of the Turkish courts and will appeal this judgment. Booking.com still complies with local law. The judgment means that our Turkish users will be able to continue using our website to book accommodations abroad and that Booking.com can continue to offer accommodation in Turkey to international customers. As an e-commerce company we strongly believe we contribute to healthy competition in the market by offering Turkish consumers a convenient and transparent platform to compare and book accommodations around the world."

As a reminder, the subsidiary of the Priceline Group was founded in 1996. It had already been ordered to pay a fine of more than 2.5 million Turkish pounds, meaning 700,000 dollars. Through its platform the group offers 30 different categories of accommodations and a total capacity of nearly 23 million keys. The website announced in 2016 that it had reached the millionth property benchmark. 

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