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Deal Restricts Consumer Choice, Hurts Small Hotel Owners, Results in Duopoly

Washington, D.C. – September 17, 2015 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) issued the following statement on the Department of Justice’s approval of the proposed acquisition of Orbitz by Expedia.

“We are disappointed with today’s announcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to approve the proposed acquisition of Orbitz by Expedia. Simply put, this decision will hurt consumers and small business owners, and remove choice from the marketplace.

 

“By approving this deal, only two players control the online marketplace: Priceline and the behemoth Expedia, now owning Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Cheap Tickets, and Trivago. Together, these two players control over 95 percent of the online travel agency (OTA) bookings in the United States. We continue to believe that increased consolidation is bad for consumers and bad for business.

 

“As we’ve said all along, this transaction will result in significant negative consequences for consumers and also the large number of our members who are small businesses and independent hotels. It could lead to increased distribution costs for independent hotel owners who risk seeing booking commissions rise by double digits.

 

“We are not alone in our opposition to this deal. Indeed, key members of Congress, including the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate antitrust subcommittee and vital leaders in the House, along with leading consumer advocates expressed their concerns about consolidation. We encourage these groups to monitor the outcomes of this deal and take appropriate action to protect consumers.

 

“AH&LA will continue to take action on decisions that we believe will pose harm to our industry and our guests and we will stand up for our small and independent business owners to ensure their voice is heard in an increasingly consolidated marketplace.”

About AH&LA

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $155.5 billion in annual sales from 4.9 million guestrooms.

Contact: Rosanna Maietta

rmaietta@ahla.com

Contact: Katie Longo

klongo@ahla.com

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