SPAIN’S competition regulator, the CNMC, has launched a probe into whether internet portal, Booking.com, has exploited hotels in the country.

The CNMC will investigate complaints from the Spanish Association of Hotel Managers and the Regional Hotel Association of Madrid.

It will look at whether the Booking.com portal has abused its strong market position.

The company may have imposed unfair trading conditions on hotels located in Spain and used commercial profiles with exclusionary effects on other online travel agencies and online sales channels, according to the CNMC.

It said it would also look into whether Booking.com’s conduct exploited the economic dependency on its platform of hotels in Spain, which it said would amount to a distortion of free competition.

Booking.com said it would work with the CNMC on its investigation and said it had a ‘collaborative’ relationship with hotels.

“We continue to work tirelessly to secure and deliver much needed demand for our accommodation partners, helping them fill their rooms every day,” the company said in a statement.

The CNMC has up to 18 months to reach a decision on whether a violation of trade rules took place.

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