Expedia-Orbitz Deal Gains Antitrust Clearance
The Justice Department granted antitrust clearance on Wednesday to Expedia Inc.’s $1.3 billion takeover of rival online travel agent Orbitz Worldwide Inc., saying the deal was unlikely to hurt competition. By approving the deal, Expedia and Priceline control over 95 percent of the online travel agency bookings in the United States.
TripAdvisor has spent the past year amassing support for its booking service from big hotel chains like Marriott International Inc. with the promise of more control over their customer relationships and lower commissions. Hotels have long complained that third-party websites take too big a cut of their revenue, but they rely on the websites to market their rooms to travelers. The Orbitz acquisition will leave Expedia and rival Priceline Group Inc. in control of the majority of the top third-party travel-booking websites in the U.S.