Too little too late? Booking.com say they will pay back €65 million

Following the recent scandal over Booking.com’s gross misuse of financial aid to pay executive bonuses, RTL Nieuws reports that the company will repay the €65 million it received from the government.

In 2020, the Dutch travel website Booking.com received €65 million in wage support from the Dutch government’s NOW scheme. Despite this funding, the company laid off a quarter of its workforce last summer.  

That was generally accepted as a hit from the pandemic — until Booking.com shareholders approved a decision to pay out €28 million in bonuses to the company’s top three executives earlier this week! Understandably, this has led to a massive public outcry.

Responding to the criticism a Booking.com spokesperson announced that the company has been closely following the debate that this scandal has triggered in Dutch society and that they “take this criticism very seriously”.

The company states that they had always intended to try and pay back the subsidy that they received from the NOW scheme. However, in light of the controversy, Booking.com is upping its efforts to repay this debt.   

What are your thoughts on this controversy? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature image: 240878484/Deposit Photos

Jen Lorimer 🇿🇼
An avid tea drinker, Jen was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She moved to Utrecht in 2017 to pursue her history degree. She loves people-watching, canoeing the Utrecht canals, and observing how the Dutch come alive in summer. Having been traumatised by a Dutch circle party, Jen wants to help equip other internationals with tips and tricks to survive and thrive in this wonderful flat country.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I read nowhere in this article that any laws were broken. If the shareholders of the company have the final say in regard to the distribution of funds how is that of any concern to anyone else? Answer, it isn’t!

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