Across Platform Parity Agreements

September 9, 2021

[xii] Ariel Ezrachi, The competitive effects of parity clauses on online commerce, 11 European Competition Journal (2015), doi.org/10.1080/17441056.2016.1148870 (last seen 8 April 2020). The growth of online platforms worldwide has accelerated considerably, representing a significant share of the relevant market. [i] Sectors where these businesses have flourished in India include, among others, food delivery services, hotel and travel reservations, taxi services and the supply of products through online retail. [ii] On the one hand, it has contributed to the convenience and efficiency of the market. [iii] On the other hand, it raised the eyebrows of regulatory authorities in all legal systems, in particular with regard to price parity agreements. [iv] In particular, they have had a considerable impact on competition, which is why several cases have been identified, notably in Germany, the European Union and India, involving the formation of cartels, abuse of a dominant position and inhibition of competition. [v] As far as the Indian approach is concerned, the report is representative of the authority that advocates a balanced approach. Case law has also explained that the stricter construction applies only to the extent that the nature of price parity agreements is broad (without clarification of clauses that are too narrow). In addition, there is not much literature on the category in which the price parity agreement insisted with regard to section 3(4) of the Act.

Overall, there is little emphasis on the narrowness of price parity clauses, as their authorisation could also have an anti-competitive effect. [xvii] Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf, Narrow booking price clause also anti-competitive, 23 December 2015, www.bundeskartellamt.de/SharedDocs/Meldung/EN/Pressemitteilungen/2015/23_12_2015_Booking.com.html (last seen on 08 April 2020); Last chapter of the Booking.com saga? `narrow price parity clauses` declared admissible by the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf, Linklaters, on 30 June 2019 www.linklaters.com/en/insights/publications/2019/june/final-chapter-of-the-booking-com-saga (last seen on 08 April 2020); Lukas Solek, Price Parity Clauses and Online Platforms: Is There a New Way Forward?, Linklaters, November 14, 2019, www.linklaters.com/en/insights/blogs/linkingcompetition/2019/november/price-parity-clauses-and-online-platforms-is-there-a-new-way-forward (last seen April 08, 2020). Access to the contents of social magazines varies according to the title. [xviii] Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, Price parity clauses and Booking.com – a more unified approach or a reminder of diverging opinions?, Lexology, June 10, 2019, www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=025134c4-b7b7-4275-aee8-6256d54894cc (last seen April 08, 2020). Another mechanism in this regard could be the conditions set out in the legislation on price parity agreements. EU Regulation 2019/1150 (“EU Regulations”) which entered into force on 20 June 2019 is a perfect example of this transparency legislation. Under Article 10 of that Regulation, online platforms that limit the possibility of other mechanisms to offer different services to end-users using different conditions must publish the basis for the definition of those restrictions, including legal, commercial and economic justifications. The first case is in Re: Rubtub Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and MakeMyTrip Case (“MMT”).

In this case, MMT entered into a chain contract with Treebo Hotels with a price parity clause. This Agreement is challenged by Treebo in violation of Section 3(4) and Section 4(2)(a)(ii) of the Act. In its analysis, CCI relied on the previous case – In Re: FHRAI and OYO (“OYO”). The OYO case concerns mmT allegations of abuse of a dominant position in various factors, one of which is the broad price parity clause it has concluded with hotel companies. . . .