16sept bookingwebsites hero default

Booking websites ease rules in Aussie

If you’re planning a trip to Australia, it could pay to call hotels for their best price. They’ve just been given the OK to offer a better rate over the phone than what sites such as wotif.com and booking.com charge.

×

Choose what’s right for you with confidence

Join today and get instant access to all test results and research.

Join Consumer Now

Aussie hotels that sold rooms through the online booking sites had been contractually prevented from offering lower rates through their own channels. Following an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Expedia and Booking.com have agreed to amend their price parity clauses. Expedia’s subsidiaries include hotels.com, lastminute.com and wotif.com.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said accommodation providers are now able to offer lower rates through telephone bookings, walk-ins and to customer loyalty groups. However, they still can’t have a lower price on their own website.

The companies’ price parity terms – also known as “most favoured nation” clauses – have also been put on ice in the EU following scrutiny from regulators. No changes have been announced back here. The Commerce Commission said it would be talking to Expedia and Booking.com about the issue.

Archive promo default

News, opinion and recalls

Want to see more articles like this? See our full lists of news, opinion and recalls.

Read more