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Russia threatens Booking.com with court if Dutch site refuses to pay $17.5 million fine imposed for abusing its market dominance

Russia threatens Booking.com with court if Dutch site refuses to pay $17.5 million fine imposed for abusing its market dominance
Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service has warned that it will go to court if Booking.com, the hotel reservation site, continues to refuse to pay a fine of 1.3 billion rubles ($17.7 million) for abusing its position in the market.

Speaking to news agency RIA Novosti, the agency's deputy head Petr Ivanov explained that legal action is on the table if the Dutch company refuses to cough up.

"I won't talk about sanctions, but about measures we will take if the fine is not paid," he explained. If Booking.com does not pay, he said, "we will go to court and enforce the fine in court."

He also added that there is no precedent for this type of legal action, as all other companies fined have paid up.

Last month, the service announced Booking.com had been found to have abused its dominant position in the country's hotel market.

Also on rt.com Russia fines Dutch site Booking.com $17.5 million for ‘abusing’ its position as the country’s leading hotel reservation aggregator

According to the government body, Booking.com forces contracts upon hotels that use its site, making it against the rules to price rooms lower on other services. Therefore, it always shows the lowest price on the entire internet. As it is by far the most popular website for reserving hotel rooms, Booking.com has been deemed to have attempted to impose a monopoly on the industry.

Booking.com has filed an appeal.

This isn't the first time that the Federal Antimonopoly Service has targeted a foreign company. In 2015, it ruled that Google was abusing its dominant position on the mobile phone market by pre-installing its applications on all android phones, following a complaint by Russian Internet giant Yandex.

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