EU Commission blocks's acquisition of Etraveli

The decision is a huge blow for and its "Connected Trip" initiative, as the Etraveli acquisition was to bring flight bookings into the offering

Sep 26, 2023

The European Commission said it prevented the €1.63 ($1.8 billion) deal in order to protect consumers. Booking commands a 60% market share for online travel agencies in Europe, the Commission said.

Key takeaways

  • "The combination of network effects and consumer inertia means that many consumers get information on room availability and prices only from OTAs, often only from Booking," according to EU antitrust chief Didier Reynders;
  • He said the Commission had reached out to almost 15,000 hotels for feedback on the proposed deal;
  • "Overall, market participants were concerned that the transaction would strengthen Booking's dominant position on the market for hotel OTAs in the European Economic Area, reduce competition and increase prices for hotels and possibly for consumers;"
  • The decision is a huge blow for Booking Holdings and its "Connected Trip" initiative, as Etraveli acquisition was to bring flight bookings into the offering;
  • Booking Holdings said it plans to appeal, adding that the fusion would have "delivered tremendous benefits for consumers and partners by bringing more options and competitive pricing.

Get the full story at Reuters

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