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Summary: India’s Competition Watchdog Fines MakeMyTrip, Goibibo, and Oyo

CCI was investigating MMT-Go and Oyo based on complaints filed in 2019 and 2020 by the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India and Treebo Hotels.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined online travel aggregators MakeMyTrip and Goibibo (MMT-Go) and hotel chain Oyo a combined ₹392 crore ($47 million) for anti-competitive conduct on October 18th. The antitrust watchdog has also imposed behavioural sanctions on the two travel aggregators. CCI imposed the monetary penalties at the rate of 5 percent of the companies' relevant turnovers, which amounts to ₹223 crore for MMT-Go and ₹169 crore for Oyo. MakeMyTrip acquired Ibibo Group in 2017, but both companies continue to operate separate platforms. CCI was investigating MMT-Go and Oyo based on complaints from 2019 and 2020 respectively filed by the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) and Treebo Hotels, alleging that the MMT-Go was abusing its dominant position through price parity obligations and deep discounting. They also alleged that MMT-Go had anti-competitive arrangements with Oyo, which resulted in the delisting of Oyo's competitors from the two online portals in 2018. Why does this matter: This long-running investigation has resulted in CCI addressing some of the nuances in the online travel aggregation market, such as what the relevant market is. These will probably be used as a precedent for future antitrust cases in this industry. Relevant market and market dominance CCI noted that determining the relevant market was "the most contentious issue throughout the proceedings in this matter" but that it has concluded that online and offline travel booking are not part of the same market and even within the online segment, online travel aggregators constitute a separate relevant product market and…

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