Booking site Booking.com fears that European efforts to curb the market dominance of large tech companies will be detrimental to the group. CEO Glenn Fogel expresses his concerns about development. He does not leave it to describe his company as one of Europe’s ‘very, very, very few technological successes’.
According to Fogel, stricter rules will be particularly beneficial for rivals from outside the EU such as Expedia from the US and Chinese Ctrip. ‘European companies will suffer from the rules’, says the Booking.com boss. The rules are said to apply to some 20 tech giants. The proposals are still being discussed within the EU and no decisions have yet been taken, according to insiders to the newspaper.
Among other things, the Dutch government would be in favour of greater powers for the EU to contain ‘Big Tech’. This would include the splitting up of companies and the exclusion of the internal market as options. The European Booking.com is expected to be seen in the measures as ‘gatekeeper’ of the hotel market and may therefore also be affected.
By including European companies in the list, the EU would like to refute the criticism that it wants to restrict only US market power. According to Fogel, it is not right that Booking.com is considered a gatekeeper, since ‘only’ 13% of all hotel revenue in Europe comes from the site.
The criticism that much about Booking.com sounds like it’s charging high costs and instead of being a small challenger, it’s become more and more the online platform in Europe where hotels get access to customers. In the online bookings for hotels, Booking.com two-thirds of the market.