Gujarat HC returns OYO, Treebo and Fab Hotels case to CCI
FHRAI pitches for open and fair market competition; aims to curb OYO's market monopolizing practices.
In the ongoing row over unethical business practices involving MakeMyTrip and GoIbibo (GoMMT) giving the preferential listing to OYO and putting other budget hotel franchises at disadvantage, a division bench of the Gujarat High Court has directed the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to afford OYO Rooms an opportunity of hearing.
An interim order was passed earlier by the CCI through which Fab Hotels and Treebo were re-listed on Go-MMT portal. But a Stay Order was given by the Gujarat High Court on the Interim Order passed by CCI.
However now, with the order given by the division bench of Gujarat High Court dated June 14, 2021, the previously ordered stay by the Gujarat High Court has been vacated and the matter has returned to the CCI and will be resolved there. FHRAI is one of the respondents in the matter and Advocate Sameer Parekh appeared on behalf of FHRAI.
Commenting on the situation, Pradeep Shetty, Jt. Hon. Sec., FHRAI, said, “Fab Hotels, Treebo and OYO are good competition to each other. But because OYO devised an internal arrangement with GoMMT, Fab Hotels and Treebo were delisted from the GoMMT portal. GoMMT is a dominant market player which holds roughly 60 per cent of the hotel bookings market share. Such a dominant entity abused its dominance to discriminate between competing hotel chains in India. It denied market access to Fab Hotels and Treebo and entered into monopolizing arrangements with OYO. The OTA has been indulging in similar practices to disadvantage standalone and small budget hotels by offering preferential listing to others for skewing the market in their favour.”
The CCI in an order dated March 9, 2021 had ruled in favour of Treebo and Fab Hotels, directing GoMMT that the two hotel chains be re-listed. However, a single-judge court of Gujarat HC granted interim relief to OYO, staying the CCI order.
“With the case going back to the CCI, the FHRAI is confident about exposing the tacit agreement between OYO and Go-MMT depriving other hotel players fair and equal access to a free market. Go-MMT 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. We will submit more evidence of dominance and unethical practices by the OTA and OYO to the CCI investigation team substantiating how local entrepreneurs and hotels are being destroyed. FHRAI is pitching for open and fair competition in the market and intends to put an end to the disruption caused by OYO,” concludes Paramjit Ghai - Jt. Hon. Sec., Hotel & Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI).
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