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4/10, 7:29 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Japan competition commission to probe Expedia, Rakuten

Japan's Fair Trade Commission is investigating travel booking websites Expedia, Rakuten Travel and Booking.com over possible antitrust violations, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on Wednesday citing sources familiar with the matter.

According to the sources, the trio is suspected of contractually pressuring hotels to make more rooms available or to set the same or lower prices compared to other booking websites. The country's antitrust act prohibits companies from limiting the business of contracting parties, with violations resulting in cease and desist orders. The commission will conduct additional hearings with the three companies as well as with hotels before it makes a decision on whether to impose any penalties.

The Fair Trade Commission recently considered launching an investigation against Amazon Japan to determine if one of its policies breached antitrust laws. It came after the tech giant's Japanese division told third-party sellers that it would modify its points system in late May to make them responsible for covering the costs in future.

Breaking the News / DZ