Mumbai: Fab Hotels, a network of budget hotel chains across India, on 19 February, joined the FHRAI in its complaint against the online hotel and travel booking agencies OYO and Make My Trip (MMT), seeking permission to be a part of the case proceedings. The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) had filed a case against the two online entities in October 2018 for allegedly denying “market access” to other competitors.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI), where the case proceedings have been taking place, in its order dated October 2019, had further observed that “Make My Trip allegedly gives preferential treatment to OYO on its portal, whereby the hotels of OYO are given preference, which leads to denial of market access.”

Commenting on the position of Fab Hotels, the CCI said, “From the search results presented by the MMT on random queries for hotels across different locations, it appears that Fab Hotel and Treebo are indeed not present on this platform, while they earlier used to be.”

Additionally in its order dated 12 February, the commission has specified that Fab Hotels is directed to serve a public version of its impleadment application to the parties in the matter within 10 days of the receipt of the order. “Our position now stands vindicated with Fab Hotels confirming that barriers were imposed by MMT and Oyo as part of their tacit agreement to ultimately deprive public and other hotel players fair and equal access.

MMT has abused its dominant position by imposing unfair trade terms and conditions on Fab Hotels and Treebo Hotels, subsequently de-listing the two from its online portal. Also, the commercial arrangements between MMT and Oyo, which took effect in 2018, has created entry barriers and has foreclosed the market for the competitors of Oyo, like Fab Hotels,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, vice-president of FHRAI.

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