|Bid||85.72 x N/A|
|Ask||86.70 x N/A|
|Day's range||85.47 - 86.80|
|52-week range||85.47 - 126.52|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||1.10|
|PE ratio (TTM)||25.99|
|Forward dividend & yield||1.23 (1.43%)|
|1y target est||N/A|
Nov.07 -- Mark Okerstrom, Expedia Group Inc. chief executive officer, discusses the company's third-quarter earnings and the outlook for its home-sharing division, Vrbo. He speaks with Bloomberg's Vonnie Quinn and Guy Johnson on "Bloomberg Markets."
Jul.08 -- Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi talks about how Barry Diller helped him move from Expedia to Uber. He appears on "The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations." The interview was recorded on June 11 at The Economic Club in Washington.
(Bloomberg) -- Google’s moves to cram the top of its search results with more and more advertising is hammering the online travel industry, one of the company’s biggest customers.Expedia Group Inc. fell the most in 14 years on Thursday and TripAdvisor Inc. dropped the most in two years after the companies reported dismal third-quarter results and laid the blame on Google. Booking Holdings Inc.’s shares dropped 8%, too, wiping out a combined market value of more than $13 billion from the three online travel agents.Google dominates the online search market, with at least three quarters of the market. People use the search engine to research trips, so for at least a decade online travel agents have refined their websites with trustworthy content and easy booking tools to show up high in Google results.This search engine optimization, or SEO, worked well until about five years ago. Around that time, Google began placing more ads on the top of search results, pushing down the free listings. The internet giant also built new travel search tools, which were mostly paid listings, too. This means online travel agents now must pay billions of dollars each year to Google to ensure they show up high in search results and get clicks from travel planners.The online travel industry has been concerned about Google’s changes since at least 2016. But the full impact was felt this week.“Google has got more aggressive,” TripAdvisor Chief Executive Officer Stephen Kaufer said during a conference call with analysts late Wednesday. “We’re not predicting that it’s going to turn around.”Free traffic is “shrinking all the time,” Expedia Chief Executive Officer Mark Okerstrom said the same day. “Google does continue to push for more revenue per visitor. And I think it’s just the reality of where the world is.”The industry has been trying other marketing channels, such as social media and more TV advertising. But Google’s search engine is so pervasive that online travel agents have to keep buying ads from the company to keep traffic coming to their sites.D.A. Davidson analysts wrote that Expedia is exploring alternatives to mitigate its “reliance on search/Google,” but they see “no alternatives that will be able to efficiently ‘move the needle’ from a volume perspective anytime soon.”Carnage in the online travel industry comes as antitrust scrutiny of Google is ramping up in the U.S. State, federal and congressional probes are all underway to determine whether the company violates competition law. One area of concern is vertical search, where Google uses its main search engine to promote its own industry-specific products over those of other companies. Travel is one example where this is happening, along with local search, contractor marketplaces like Angie’s List and shopping-comparison services.Google has been a rising risk for the travel industry for a while, but executives have been generally hesitant to blame it for poor results. The search giant is one of the most important sources of traffic and business for online travel agencies, so they have tried to maintain a good relationship. But this quarter, Google’s impact was so painful that industry executives and Wall Street analysts couldn’t avoid it.“We see these Google changes as a potential headwind to OTA profitability,” Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak said in a note to clients. This trend isn’t going away, and people who want to invest in the online travel sector should do it through Google stock, he added.Booking Holdings, the largest online travel agent, was peppered with questions about Google during a conference call with analysts on Thursday.Glenn Fogel, Booking’s chief executive officer, said the company’s future success will rely on reaching people without Google getting in the way.“What we know is most important is for us to get customers to come to us directly,” he said. Building brand strength and retaining customers better means the company “will not be as dependent on other sources of traffic,” he added.\--With assistance from Ryan Vlastelica, Olivia Carville and Ian King.To contact the reporters on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Kiley Roache in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. From protests in Hong Kong to uncertainty around trade, the damage from political turmoil involving China is already baked in for some large U.S. hoteliers. And even with the initial phase of a China deal in sight, the cost may not be easy to make up for.Expedia Group, an online travel service, is the latest leisure company that cited Hong Kong as one reason for their disappointing results. Last week, Marriott International said that revenue-per-available-room, or revpar, a key hotel business metric, declined 27% in Hong Kong in the third quarter. And that came shortly after Hyatt Hotels and Hilton Worldwide each reported a bigger decline in the same measure.“Revpar is seeing a sharp slowdown from earlier this year,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Brian Egger. This slump, he said, can be attributed to a combination of things, including a slowing economy in China, protests in Hong Kong, and the U.S.-China trade war.Other companies face similar headwinds. InterContinental Hotels Group said unrest in Hong Kong, along with “tougher trading conditions in the U.S. and China” hurt businesses last quarter, leading to a 0.8% decline in revpar. Uncertainty around the trade war had an impact on corporate business demand in mainland China, Mark Debenham, a spokesman at InterContinental, said in an email.And it’s not just U.S. hotels that are suffering. AccorHotels, based in France, last month tightened its 2019 forecast range, citing “uncertainties looming over Asia-Pacific.”While hotels’ Asia businesses are taking a setback, the outlook in the U.S. doesn’t look promising either. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the volume of people visiting the country will decline about 0.6% over the next six months from a year ago.With headwinds from “the macro environment possibly increasing” in the fourth quarter, Expedia shares may not recover soon after a 28% plunge Thursday, Bank of America analysts warned. Another major online travel agency, Booking Holdings, will report third-quarter results after the market closes and its shares fell as much as 8.3% ahead of the report.Political developments may set the tone for the companies, according to BI’s Egger. The comparisons could get easier for hotel operators if there’s a trade agreement and the crisis in Hong Kong finds resolution, he said. “Generally speaking, more harmonious geopolitical conditions will lend itself to more favorable travel conditions.“To contact the reporter on this story: Anisha Sircar in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brad Olesen at firstname.lastname@example.org, Lu Wang, Tatiana DarieFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Expedia Group Inc. showed a decline in revenue growth at its vacation rental business in the third quarter, signaling slowed momentum in the travel giant’s fastest-growing category and leading to a lowered profit forecast for the year.Bellevue, Washington-based Expedia’s short-term rental unit reported revenue growth of 14% in the three months ended Sept. 30, to $467 million. That’s less than the 17% pace in the previous period and missed analysts’ estimates for $462.4 million. Total revenue grew 8.6% to $3.56 billion, in line with analysts’ estimates. As a result of “disappointing results” in the quarter, Chief Executive Officer Mark Okerstrom lowered the company’s full-year outlook for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The shares fell about 13% in extended trading.Expedia has been plowing resources into its home-sharing division, Vrbo, in a bid to challenge rivals Airbnb Inc. and Booking Holdings Inc. in the booming market for alternative accommodation. While Vrbo dominates the market in the U.S. for purely vacation-rentals, Airbnb and Booking capture a much larger share of the broader global $34 billion alternative accommodation market, which also includes non-traditional hotels and home sharing.“We continue to be happy with the trends we are seeing at Vrbo and we continue to see growth rates in double digits,” Okerstrom said on a conference call. Expedia expects “continued muted growth rates” at Vrbo while it builds out the brand, which now suffers low visibility compared with its competitors. “Once we get past some changes, we will be able to return to growth rates we’re more satisfied with,” he said.Earlier this year, Expedia changed the vacation-rental division name to Vrbo, a moniker more familiar to Americans than the previous HomeAway label, which is more well-known in Europe.Okerstrom said Expedia now sees 2019 adjusted Ebitda growth of 5% to 9%, down from a previous forecast for as much as 15% growth.Vrbo only pulls in just over 10% of Expedia’s overall revenue, but analysts and investors focus on the division because it represents the company’s best bet for growth.Gross bookings for the travel giant climbed 9% to $26.9 billion. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization came in at $912 million, missing average analyst estimates of $973.3 million. Earnings per share were $3.38, excluding some items. Analysts, on average, estimated $3.77.(Updates with forecast in the sixth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Olivia Carville in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Molly Schuetz, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- A day after Amazon.com Inc. disclosed one of the largest campaign contributions in a Seattle election, protesters gathered outside the company’s headquarters.Under a pair of tents set up to deflect a persistent drizzle, City Councilmember Mike O’Brien said Amazon’s $1.05 million contribution to a business-backed political-action committee was “potentially devastating to our democracy.” Matt Smith, an Amazon package handler, asked employees to join him in a rally rejecting the move.And Kshama Sawant, a councilmember who has made criticism of Amazon a staple of her re-election campaign, led the couple dozen politicians, staffers and supporters in a call-and-response.“When billionaires are on the attack, what do we do,” she shouted.“Stand up, fight back!”At the fringes of the audience, Amazon lobbyist Guy Palumbo said, “Lose.”As Seattle barrels toward its Nov. 5 council election, residents are sharply divided over how to address the challenges facing the city after years of torrid growth. On one side are candidates like Sawant, the socialist incumbent, who say big businesses like Amazon need to be taxed to fund a frayed social-safety net. On the other are people like her opponent, Egan Orion, who have won over companies and voters by pledging to take a more pragmatic approach to the city’s challenges.Amazon has intensified the debate by wading into the election like never before. The company was generally a reluctant player in city politics, even as it grew to occupy dozens of buildings and employ more than 50,000 people in its hometown.@amazon dumps record $$ into @SeattleCouncil races local democrats speak out against what they call big corporations/wealthy efforts to buy election, @CMLGonzalez says these corporate donors are anti tax, anti poor “says Seattle City Council not for sale” 973FM @KIRORadio pic.twitter.com/ZUteRnUh3a— Hanna Scott (@HannaKIROFM) October 17, 2019 But during this election cycle it has plowed a total of $1.5 million into the local chamber of commerce’s political action committee. At least 18 executives personally sent checks to Orion. Wayne Barnett, the executive director of Seattle’s Ethics and Elections Commission, said the company’s donation was the largest contribution in a city election that he could remember, eclipsing the $1.39 million the American Chemistry Council spent in 2009 over a tax on disposable shopping bags.The spending on the local races reflects the potential for a pushback from business as progressive politicians gain prominence nationally. It has also framed the election as a test of whether money from deep-pocketed companies will be effective in the face of a public wary of corporate influence in politics. U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have already criticized Amazon’s spending on the Seattle races as they vie for the Democratic presidential nomination.“It’s a message nationally that Amazon won’t be pushed around,” said Joni Balter, a longtime Seattle journalist who hosts Civic Cocktail, a city forum for policymakers and community members. But she added that it could backfire on the company. “This is a city of contrarians who don’t like stuff like that.”Seattle’s business revolt ignited last year as the city considered a tax on large employers to fund homeless services. After the measure passed in May 2018, Amazon helped lead a resistance that ultimately ended in the measure’s repeal a month later. Since then, the company has made several announcements about its intentions to expand in Bellevue, just east of Seattle.More than a year after that fight, Seattle is still struggling to rein in its homelessness crisis, and voters are getting impatient. In a recent poll, two-thirds of respondents said they were more likely to vote for candidates who want to change the council’s direction. That, along with a wide-open field in many races, unleashed a torrent of spending. Seven of the nine seats on council are up for grabs, and only three incumbents are running.Rachel Lauter, executive director of Working Washington, a labor group that campaigned for Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage, said Amazon’s donation “feels like a coordinated attack on government, generally.”“They are throwing down,” she said. “The question is what is this for, what do they really want. What the record shows is that they don’t want to pay taxes, they don’t want to see the city address labor standards for gig workers.”David Zapolsky, Amazon’s general counsel, said in an interview that the company is seeking a more pragmatic city government that would be open to input from business leaders, in addition to labor groups and citizens. “It’s important to have a city council where people feel comfortable going to city council without being shouted down or met with open hostility,” he said.While Amazon is by far the largest contributor to the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy, several other businesses have given to the political action committee, including Expedia Group Inc., Starbucks Corp. and Vulcan Inc., a major local real estate developer and investment vehicle for the late Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen.Orion, an organizer of Seattle’s PrideFest, has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the chamber’s spending, receiving about $285,000. But, so too, have candidates like police leader Jim Pugel and Heidi Wills, a former council member who was unseated in 2003.The money has shaped the race at a time when Seattle is pioneering a new model of public campaign finance meant to level the playing field between deep-pocketed donors and average citizens. Registered voters in the city each received $100 worth of “democracy vouchers” that they could give to candidates of their choosing. More than $2.4 million in contributions have been made through the program this year, according to the ethics and election commission.In a twist, Sawant turned down the vouchers -- and fundraising caps they imposed -- to more effectively fight against business spending. Her campaign had raised almost $453,000, largely from small-dollar donors, as of Oct. 27. Orion’s campaign, meanwhile, has brought in about $394,000, with about a third coming from vouchers.Amazon’s Zapolsky didn’t comment on the critiques of his company’s spending leveled by national politicians. Of the local races,“it’s not surprising that some candidates are looking to make this an election about Amazon as opposed to an election about the issues that matter to Seattle residents,” he said, calling out topics like homelessness, public safety, climate change and transportation.“We should all be on the same side of those and looking for solutions,” he said.Carol Isaac highlighted some of the same issues as she waited for a debate to begin last month between Orion and Sawant at Seattle’s Town Hall. But the retired University of Washington researcher put the blame elsewhere for the city’s challenges.Her fix?“You want me to give you the one-liner,” she asked. “Get rid of capitalism.”\--With assistance from Dina Bass.To contact the reporters on this story: Noah Buhayar in Seattle at email@example.com;Matt Day in Seattle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, ;Craig Giammona at firstname.lastname@example.org, Robin Ajello, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi vowed to get his company to profitability while pursuing growth from emergent arenas such as India, addressing investors’ concerns about the ride-sharing company’s mounting losses and global regulatory challenges.Uber, which lost about $5.2 billion in the second quarter alone, is having a tough time convincing the market of its growth potential, or that it can turn a profit anytime soon. Its stock has plummeted 27% since a disappointing initial public offering in May. Khosrowshahi, who this month unveiled a final round of job cuts, said the core rides business would achieve profitability even as newer lines such as Eats gained traction.Khosrowshahi was brought in to clean up the ride-sharing company in the summer of 2017, after a series of scandals brought down flamboyant co-founder Travis Kalanick. It had already become one of the world’s most valuable startups by aggressively pushing into new markets, bringing its model to places where few rules existed to deal with the emergent phenomenon of ride-hailing. Now, Uber is advancing at a more even clip after exiting markets such as China, expanding existing business lines while exploring new markets. The company will soon roll out Uber Works, a listing service for temp workers of all stripes.“If I rated myself based on accounting of the last quarter, I wouldn’t be doing so well. But I live in the real world,” Khosrowshahi said, seated in a conference room sporting a bright-red Uber-monogrammed Indian silk waistcoat.“I ran Expedia for 12 years. It was a profitable company with significant cash flows,” Khosrowshahi said at Uber’s engineering center in Bangalore, which was decked out with oil lamps and sheer orange drapes for Diwali, the upcoming Indian festival of lights. Uber’s take rate, or commission earned, in rides was over 20% and “a great business can be built with a 20% take rate.”Read more: Uber Dismisses 350 Employees, a ‘Last Wave’ of Job CutsUber is one of the most prominent companies in the portfolio of SoftBank Group Corp., the Japanese investment powerhouse that also backed WeWork and former rivals such as Didi Chuxing. The U.S. company, once a star in the SoftBank constellation, is now labeled among its biggest under-performers.India is a potential bright spot: a massive, untapped market where Uber can demonstrate rapid growth to calm investors back home. It’s also a laboratory for innovation in terms of new modes of transportation, the chief executive said. “Our fastest growing segments are some of the new segments -- two and three wheelers,” he said. The company has a presence in about 40 Indian cities.Khosrowshahi says Uber will continue to invest there, and is confident his team can build products that fit not just the Indian market but could also be exported to growth regions of the next decade from the Middle East to Africa. This week, he unveiled a feature to link Uber’s services to Delhi’s public transport system.The most significant of the problems facing the chief executive could well be a shifting gig-worker landscape. Regulators are making it harder for companies such as Uber and Lyft to classify workers as independent contractors, which raises a question about the basis of their business models. California’s classification of drivers as employees would be a “mistake” and would increase prices for riders while making the service available to fewer people, Khosrowshahi said.“We and other gig economy companies are going to sponsor an initiative that actually brings this issue to the voters. Let the voters decide.”(Updates with additional information on Uber’s India business from the seventh paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
It's easy to see what kind of aircraft any given flight will have. Consumers may start looking for this information when the Boeing 737 Max comes back into service.
(Bloomberg) -- In the past year, hotel chains and home-sharing sites have started encroaching on each other’s turf. Airbnb Inc. advertises hotel rooms on its platform and Marriott International Inc. recently launched a home-stay offering.The latest player to blur the lines is short-term rental start up Sonder. The San Francisco-based hospitality company is expanding beyond its network of custom-designed vacation apartments, signing leases with 17 off-the-beaten-path, mom-and-pop style hotels in New York, London, Dublin and other cities in recent months – and is negotiating an additional 40 properties.Sonder targets the sweet spot between a home and a hotel, merging the vibe of an Airbnb in a hip neighborhood with the convenience of a hotel’s 24/7 concierge and professionally cleaned sheets. Sonder advertises its units on Airbnb and Expedia Group Inc.’s Vrbo, complying with local rules and regulations in the 21 cities where it operates.After raising $225 million in a funding round in July, valuing the company at more than $1 billion, Sonder decided to veer away from its traditional short-term rental model and elbow its way into the hotel industry.Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Francis Davidson says Sonder will be raking in more revenue than Marriott by 2025. That won’t be easy: The world’s largest hotel company had revenue of $21 billion last year and manages more than 1 million rooms.By contrast, Sonder has 10,000 listings, albeit five times as many as it did a year ago. Moreover, its business model has some unwelcome parallels. Leasing space under long-term deals for short-term stays is what led WeWork Cos. to accumulate a pile of debt, which generated investor blow back and ultimately forced the postponement of its public market debut.“We have seen how bad the reception was for WeWork doing leases and how it eats into profitability, especially in the initial phase when the company signs all these leases,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh. “The question is, what is it technologically that differentiates them from hotel chains – why would anybody pick a Sonder over a hotel?”Davidson says Sonder can charge 20% less than a four-star hotel, using technology to reduce costs and provide guests with a seamless on-app check-in, keyless entry and a mobile concierge. “Our big edge over hotels is that their model hasn’t evolved in the last 40 years,” Davidson says, adding that Sonder’s units are typically found in neighborhoods that major hotels don’t usually occupy.The company has taken over old hat factories, police stables and small historic hotels like Philadelphia Queen Hotel, The Abbey Hotel in Miami or the Flatiron Hotel in New York.Chirag Patel, who runs a family business of 10 small hotel properties in California, working with Sonder has removed his daily administrative tasks without denting his profits. “You get a fresh new look instead of the regular old 40 - 50 rooms that all look pretty much the same,” he says.Lodging researcher and former New York University hospitality dean Bjorn Hanson says Sonder will likely come as a relief to mom-and-pop hotel owners like Patel, who may be tired of operating in a highly volatile market. At least with Sonder, “they pay the lease, they bear the risk,” he says.To contact the reporter on this story: Olivia Carville in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Molly Schuetz, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Traveloka, Southeast Asia’s largest online travel startup, is getting into financial services.The startup backed by Expedia Group Inc. and JD.com Inc. will issue a credit card with Indonesia’s PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia Persero Tbk linked to its booking services. The travel app is targeting many users across the Indonesian archipelago who have little or no access to traditional banking or reliable internet.Founded by three engineers in 2012, Traveloka -- said to be valued at around $2 billion in 2017 -- has expanded across Southeast Asia by making it easier for consumers to book flights and hotels within the region. It’s raised at least $500 million from investors including Hillhouse Capital and Sequoia. Henry Hendrawan, president of Traveloka operations, said the card was one facet of building a fintech business to complement its travel, accommodation and lifestyle services.“In anything we do in financial services, we will always look to go with strong partners,” Hendrawan said in an interview, adding that he expects to unveil more products and partners in the near future. “This is a perfect example.”With a population of more than 620 million and growing middle class, Southeast Asia is expected to see its online travel market almost triple from about $30 billion in 2018 to $78 billion in 2025, according to Google and Temasek Holdings Pte. By 2025, 57% of bookings will be made online, up from 34% in 2015.Traveloka operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. Customers will be able to use its card in Indonesia and around the world for both online and offline transactions via Visa Inc.’s network.To contact the reporter on this story: Yoolim Lee in Singapore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Marriott International's aggressive portfolio growth strategy is fueled by company ambitions to make its Bonvoy loyalty program as complete as it can be. Speaking at the 2019 Skift Global Forum in New York City Thursday, Marriott Chief Financial Officer Leeny Oberg referred to Bonvoy as the perfect antidote to lure customers into existing and pending […]
(Bloomberg) -- Online travel booking site Nustay A/S has filed a complaint to the European Union’s antitrust regulator, claiming Expedia Group Inc. and Booking Holdings Inc. are trying to “kill off” the startup for offering lower prices and punishing hotels that appear on its site.The Danish company said the online travel giants were in breach of competition rules by trying to maintain “artificially high price levels” for hotel rooms -- thereby potentially trying to keep their commissions high -- by preventing Nustay from offering lower prices.Founded in 2014, Nustay advertises rooms booked at a block rate, as well as direct on-demand booking, in a bid to provide customers cheaper offers than often appear on rival sites. The Danish website also charges low commissions, resulting in better prices for customers but the same earnings for hotels, it says.Nustay said Expedia and Booking.com downgraded hotels in their search rankings if a hotel’s prices were lower on a competing website, harming the hotels’ ability to land bookings. Hotels, in turn, are pressuring Nustay to raise prices so they wouldn’t lose more business on Booking and Expedia, it added.The European Commission said it had received Nustay’s complaint and was assessing it. Booking and Expedia didn’t respond to requests for comment.“We really have the possibility to give a better product to the consumers at a lower price, but we are seeing a tremendous effort from Expedia and Booking.com to kill us before we even get a chance to get a foothold, “ Nustay Chief Executive Officer Mathias Lundoe Nielsen said in an interview, adding they decided to file the complaint to try to get fair terms and “show how big of a problem it actually is.”The company said its visibility online increased rapidly last fall when Alphabet Inc.’s Google started including Nustay’s cheaper offers in its hotel search, alongside Booking and Expedia’s offerings.That development also triggered complaints from more than a thousand hotels, who urged Nustay to increase their prices, after being pressured by Expedia and Booking, Lundoe Nielsen said. Some of the hotels complained they were losing so much business from Booking or Expedia, and because Nustay doesn’t represent a large part of its business, they just wanted Nustay to increase the price to appease the online travel giants, he said.In one email exchange between a European hotel and Nustay and seen by Bloomberg, the owner said “we have been contacted by both of our partners Expedia and Booking.com, they both have asked us to contact the ones that are not in line with the prices we communicate.”Another hotel says “I am being penalized by Booking.com and Expedia because you are selling bedrooms at my properties cheaper than they are able to,” according to another email exchange.Expedia also directly urged Nustay to raise their prices in Google search, before it terminated a partnership about three months ago with the company as part of which it sold it some inventory, Lundoe Nielsen said.A Europe-wide antitrust crackdown in recent years saw Booking roll back some clauses obliging hotels to offer their best price to the site. European competition agencies flagged concerns about online bookings in a 2017 report. It said large hotel chains expected the biggest online travel sites to keep on growing, meaning any new rivals to them would face “significant difficulties.”Booking and Expedia have, in turn, urged the EU to probe how Google shows their sites in local and travel search results. Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, has said she’s looking at Google’s local search.Online hotel booking sites are also being reviewed by Japanese authorities In the U.S., Expedia is under investigation in Utah for allegedly conspiring with the biggest U.S. hotel chains to manipulate search advertising on Google.(Updates with European Commission comment in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Aoife White.To contact the reporter on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org;Peter Chapman at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
So why would Amazon choose to reenter the travel industry through a seemingly loss-generating proposition, hawking already low-margin airline tickets via a Cleartrip partnership in the domestic Indian market? It sounds crazy, but Skift Research believes that airline tickets are a sensible entry point for a new Amazon foray into travel. Flights is a fairly […]The post Skift Analysis: Amazon's Travel Strategy Comes Into Focus appeared first on Skift.
Expedia and major hotel companies were already facing two federal lawsuits alleging that they conspired to stifle competition. Now they're also being investigated by Utah's attorney general.