Turkey: Court rules unfair competition of Booking.com

By Muhammed Enes Can and Murat Kaya

ISTANBUL (AA) – A Turkish court ruled on Friday that Booking.com, an online hotel reservation portal, committed unfair competitive practices.

The court came to the decision that the website should make a deposit payment of 500,000 Turkish liras (over $86,000) in order to lift the current ban on the website in the country, imposed as a "preliminary measure" after a lawsuit filed by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB).

The attorneys of Booking.com and other defendants attended the trial, in which the court ruled that it unlawfully operated as a travel agency without paying the required taxes, nor acquiring the necessary permits to open an office and thus dodging administrative and judicial control.

On March 29, 2017 an Istanbul court ordered the suspension of activities of Booking.com, citing accusations of unfair competition.

*Writing by Davut Demircan