Turkish court orders Booking.com to be blocked

ISTANBUL — A Turkish court has ordered the travel website Booking.com to be blocked in a dispute with the country's main travel agency association, Turkey's state-run news agency reported Wednesday.

The Anadolu Agency reported that a commercial court in Istanbul ordered the move against Booking.com as a "precautionary measure" while the case is ongoing.

Lawyers for the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies had argued that Netherlands-based Booking.com was engaging in unfair competition in the marketing of hotels in Turkey.

Anadolu said that government authorities are expected to block access to the website as soon as they receive official notification from the court.

In a written statement, Booking.com said it disagreed with the ruling and would appeal.

"As an e-commerce and technology company, we are convinced that we contribute to healthy competition in the market by offering Turkish consumers a transparent and easy platform to compare and book accommodation all over the world," the company said.

It added that Booking.com also helps 13,000 Turkish businesses offer accommodation to consumers.

____

Associated Press writer Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands, contributed.

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