Budget hospitality chain OYO has been allowed by a division bench of Gujarat High Court to file its objections with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in the ongoing tussle between FabHotels and Treebo with online travel platform MakeMyTrip and its subsidiary Ibibo Group (MMT-Go).
In March, CCI had issued an interim order to MMT-Go to list FabHotels and Treebo’s properties on its platform. However, this order was stayed when OYO approached the Gujarat High Court stating that the CCI order interfered with its commercial contractual agreements with MMT-Go.
MMT-Go had also approached the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) challenging the interim order.
The order of June 14 vacates this stay and has asked CCI to resolve the matter.
The hotel and restaurant association body, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) which is one of the respondents to the matter, said that it was confident of proving dominance and anti-competitive practices by MMT-Go and OYO.
“GoMMT is a dominant market player which holds roughly 60 per cent of the hotel bookings market share. 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,” Pradeep Shetty, joint honorary secretary at FHRAI said in a statement.
In 2019, CCI found prima-facie case for investigation against MMT-Go and OYO based on a complaint by FHRAI. In February 2020, both FabHotels and Treebo filed separate complaints to be made party to the ongoing investigations as both had to delist their properties from the MMT-Go platform after MakeMyTrip signed a commercial agreement with OYO in 2018, leading to denial of market access to the competing budget hotel chains.