Court Rules Booking.com Can Be Sued in Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -

Booking.com must respond to a class action suit charging suppression of competition filed against Booking Israel, even though the former is based in the Netherlands, Globes reported on Thursday.

Booking.com has been accused in a petition for a class action against it, Expedia and Hotels.com for making an agreement to prevent competition in the market for ordering hotels services in Israel.

The Lod District Court determined that the two entities known as Booking.com and Booking Israel are in actuality one, and that the global hotel booking website cannot evade the petition against it by maintaining that claimants could not serve it with the statement of claim through the company’s offices in Israel.

The judge ruled, “A connection exists between Booking.com and Booking Israel at a highly intensive level, indicating a real probability that Booking Israel would have notified Booking.com of the filing of a class action and the request for its approval.”

The ruling is the latest in a series of in which Israeli courts recognized lawsuits in Israel against international companies.

The Lod Court’s decision allows for delivering of the statement of claim, preparatory to approval of a class action against the global company.