Until Dec, 2014 there were just four brands – Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz WorldWide and Travelocity – who controlled about 95% of the US online travel agents market. Expedia was already sharing its technology with Travelocity since 2013 and shared revenue with Sabre. It was a good move to buy Travelocity in late January 2015 for $280 million. In the past Expedia has acquired other brands in the travel space.
In 2013 Priceline acquired Kayak. In 2014 it acquired few more travel companies like OpenTable and Hotel Ninja. Priceline’s Booking.com has over 31% market share in Europe. It is yet to penetrate the US market.
Expedia has over 40% market share of online bookings in the United States. Now with the $1.6 billion acquisition announcement of Orbitz, Expedia will be the largest online travel agent in United States.
How will the consolidation of major online travel agents affect prices for buyers and the service providers, especially the hotel industry?
Photo Credit: expedia.com