Booking.com must affiliate with PGB pension fund

31 January 2024

The Court of Appeal in The Hague has ruled that Booking.com is an online travel agent and must affiliate with the PGB pension fund with retroactive effect from 1 January 1999. The total costs for Booking.com are estimated at EUR 405 million. 

The Supreme Court had already established back in 2021 that Booking.com was an online travel agent and referred the case back to the Court of Appeal in The Hague. Booking.com mainly argued there that it is primarily an IT company and not an online travel agent, as most of its wage bill can be attributed to IT work. The Court of Appeal disagreed and held that Booking.com is not an IT company but primarily an 'online travel agent'. 

Houthoff argued on PGB's behalf that the essence of Booking.com's business activities consists of providing intermediary services in booking accommodations online through its reservation platform. According to the Court of Appeal, this core activity can be inferred from the description in the company's articles of association, the information on its website, its general terms and conditions, its annual report and accounts and its turnover. Most of the work performed by Booking.com staff can be attributed to this core activity, including the IT and software work. Booking.com is therefore obliged to affiliate with the travel industry pension scheme, administered by PGB.

The Houthoff team, which successfully represented PGB, consisted of Edward de Bock, Thomas Stouten, Anouk Boutens, Roland de Greef, Eva Milou Moison, Romee Kool, Daniel Agranovich, Jonas Angelier and Thomas de Bekker.

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Rotterdam
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Amsterdam
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