Booking.com is in talks with authorities for Turkish operations

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Booking.com is in talks with authorities for Turkish operations

Booking.com requested a high-level meeting with the Turkish government, Turkish Economy Minister  said lately. According to Zeybekci, Booking.com officials requested a meeting last week after evaluating Turkey’s proposal regarding legal issues.

On March 29, an Istanbul court had suspended the website’s activities in Turkey, after the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) filed a lawsuit against the leading online travel agency citing unfair competition.

“I view Booking.com as a very important instrument in promoting Turkish tourism but it has to operate without creating unfair competition, and it has to be subject to the Turkish law,” Zeybekci said.

The economy minister added that the government suggested a solution to how Booking.com can operate in Turkey legally without breaching competition laws.

Efforts to find a way to lift the ban and resume Booking.com’s operations in Turkey started in June, after a previous meeting between Zeybekci and the company’s officials.

The Competition Board fined the website a monetary fine in January, citing its moves violated fair competition rules. 

An Istanbul court ordered the suspension of the activities of the website in Turkey on March 29, citing accusations of unfair competition, following a lawsuit filed by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB). 

The website, which had around 13,000 hotel members from Turkey, halted selling rooms in Turkey to Turkish users on March 30, one day after the court decided to block the website in the country. The website can still be used from foreign countries to make reservations for Turkish hotels and from Turkey to make reservations abroad.

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