Expedia’s big buys
Why the travel booking site is now one of the largest on the web
Expedia bought Travelocity at the end of January for US$280 million; three weeks later, the online travel booking site acquired Orbitz for US$1.3 billion. Expedia and Priceline are now the biggest airline/hotel booking sites on the web — to the chagrin of hotel owners who don’t like having even bigger companies between them and their customers. Hotels pay these sites about 15 percent commission per booking and mergers like this mean they have less leverage in negotiations. To try to get travellers to their own sites, hotels are offering free breakfasts, Wi-Fi and loyalty points if they book directly. For customers, acquisitions like this generally mean less competition and choice. Also, booking sites make deals with hotel corporations because they cover more properties by doing so. B&Bs, inns and hidden gems, which can be more affordable (and memorable), aren’t always represented.
Owned by Expedia: CarRentals.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Travelocity, Trivago, Venere, Wotif, plus the Orbitz brands aka CheapTickets.com, eBookers, HotelClub, RatestoGo
Owned by Priceline: Agoda.com, Booking.com, Kayak (an aggregator), OpenTable, RentalCars.com
This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.