Changing its tune, UK regulator declines to investigate Expedia’s acquisition of Trivago
Last week, we reported that Britain’s Office Of Fair Trading (OFT) is casting its eye over US travel giant Expedia’s recent bid to buy control of Düsseldorf-based hotel search company Trivago.
Among other things, there had been some questions about Expedia using Trivago to display its own results more prominently, despite assurances of otherwise during the analyst call about the merger.
Well, the story’s changed. OFT says today the acquisition “does not qualify for investigation.”
Still ongoing is OFT’s inquiry into Expedia having entered into contracts that may have stifled competition. Rare parity provisions apparently stipulated that the hoteliers couldn’t enter into arrangements with other named distributors.
A final decision on that is slated for December. A related class action suit has been launched in the US against Expedia and other OTAs.
Sean O’Neill is a New Jersey-based reporter for Tnooz. He is also a daily contributor of consumer news to LonelyPlanet.com.
He used to work for BBC Travel, BudgetTravel.com, and Kiplinger's, and used to live in London, New York City, and Washington, DC.