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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The hotel industry is objecting to the proposed merger between online travel booking sites Expedia and Orbitz. Expedia is proposing buying Orbitz for $1.3 billion.
Members of the American Hotel & Lodging Association argue that the deal would mean more fees for hotel owners and higher prices for vacationers.
CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg says the U.S. Department of Justice is still reviewing the proposed acquisition. “It’s just one more indication of an attempt for consolidation of distribution… you’re seeing it at the airline level, you’re now seeing it with the online travel agencies,” he said. “And the argument can be made that it might require some further scrutiny by federal regulators if it does indicate a restrain of trade.”
If the merger goes through, Expedia and competitor Priceline would control 95-percent of the online travel agency booking.
The Priceline Group Inc. owns several online travel websites, including Booking.com and Kayak. Expedia and Orbitz also have a number of websites under their umbrella. Orbitz Worldwide Inc. owns HotelClub.com and CheapTickets.com. Expedia Inc. owns Hotels.com, Check Tickets, Trivago and Hotwire.com.
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