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News & Press: Government Affairs

AHLA: InRLA Signs Letter to DOJ Opposing Expedia's Acquisition of Orbitz

Friday, August 21, 2015  
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Washington, D.C. – Monday, August 10, 2015 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, today applauded the dozens of small hotels and independent properties, state associations and other lodging-related groups who sent a letter to the Department of Justice urging the Department to block Expedia’s proposed acquisition of Orbitz. The letter argues that consumer choice could be jeopardized, competition could steeply drop, and small and independent hotels could suffer from the anticompetitive effects of the consolidated market if the merger goes through.

The letter says, in part, “Small, independently owned, and economy hotels are particularly subject to the anticompetitive effects of this merger. In many markets, small businesses and independent hotels rely on online travel agencies (OTAs) to fill 30-40 percent of their rooms, with some as high as 60-70 percent. Yet, smaller businesses with fewer than 30 properties face the most serious consequences because they often times pay in excess of 25 percent more in online travel agency commissions. They must do business with these OTAs but will have virtually no leverage to resist any commission rate increase imposed by Expedia. These serious anticompetitive effects will substantially harm our country’s small businesses, vital to the economy of communities across the country. For these reasons, we urge you to block the proposed Expedia-Orbitz merger.” 

“On behalf of the hotel industry, AH&LA believes this proposed transaction and the resulting consolidation of the online travel marketplace will result in significant negative consequences, particularly for consumers and for the large number of our members who are small business owners and franchised properties,” said AH&LA President and CEO Katherine Lugar. “We are encouraged by the multitude of lodging-related groups adding their voice and opposition to Expedia’s proposed acquisition of Orbitz.” 

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