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TripAdvisor Cuts Hundreds of Jobs After Google Competition Bites

Mark Gurman and Olivia Carville

(Bloomberg) -- TripAdvisor Inc. is cutting hundreds of jobs, according to people familiar with the situation, underscoring the company’s need to reduce costs as competition from Google intensifies.

The online travel information provider is eliminating about 200 workers, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private decisions. The company had just over 3,800 staff at the end of September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A TripAdvisor spokesman declined to comment, but pointed to a recent earnings conference call in which the company said it was “prudently reducing and re-allocating expenses in certain parts of our business to preserve strong profitability.”

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has launched new travel search tools that compete with TripAdvisor, while adding its own reviews of hotels, restaurants and other destinations. Google has also crammed the top of its mobile search results with more ads. This has forced many companies, including TripAdvisor, to buy more ads from the search giant to keep online traffic flowing.

Google’s Search Ad Embrace Crushes Online Travel Agents

In early November, TripAdvisor shares slumped more than 20% in one day after the company reported dismal third-quarter results. It said the main challenge was “Google pushing its own hotel products in search results and siphoning off quality traffic that would otherwise find TripAdvisor via free links and generate high margin revenue in our hotel click-based auction.”

“Google has got more aggressive,” TripAdvisor Chief Executive Officer Stephen Kaufer said at the time. “We’re not predicting that it’s going to turn around.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at mgurman1@bloomberg.net;Olivia Carville in New York at ocarville1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Jillian Ward

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