Booking.com free to operate in Turkey

December 31, 2018
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Ecommerce giant, Booking.com, doesn't operate as one single entity, but as a "middleman" of sorts, meaning that, according to a 63-page report by a group of experts to a court in a case in Istanbul involving the company and the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), it does not need a travel agency license to operate in Turkey.

The report, however, suggested that the online agent should pay tax as it generates revenues from its Turkey operations.

“Booking.com is paid a commission for the hotel reservations, thus it is liable to pay tax,” it said.

The lawyer representing the online agent demanded the decision to suspend the company’s activities be lifted.

The court decided to provide the parties some time to present their cases against the report. The court scheduled the next hearing for April 12, 2019.

The Booking.com website and app, headquartered in the Netherlands, have been suspended in Turkey since March 29, 2017 by a court ruling citing accusations of unfair competition in the lawsuit filed by TÜRSAB.

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December 31, 2018

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