Yesterday, Bookingdotcom AB secured a significant win at the Swedish Court of Appeal, overturning a judgment by the lower court. In 2015, the Swedish Competition Authority, Bookingdotcom and others reached a settlement whereby Bookingdotcom agreed to refrain from imposing restrictions on the prices at which hotel rooms were sold on other third party platforms. However, according to the settlement, Bookingdotcom was still permitted to require that hotels listed on its website did not offer lower prices on their own websites (limited price and T&C parity). Visita, a Swedish industry organisation for hotels, brought a suit claiming that this condition had as its purpose or effect to limit competition. Visita also argued that Bookingdotcom should be banned from offering incentives which were conditional on hotels observing the limited price and T&C parity. In contrast to the lower court, the Court of Appeal found that Visita had not shown that the limited price and T&C parity had the effect of restricting competition on the markets for online travel agency services and hotelnights and therefore rejected Visita’s claim.
Patent- och marknadsöverdomstolen har, till skillnad från underinstansen, funnit att Visita inte har visat att avtalsvillkoren begränsar konkurrensen på marknaden.