Expedia Buys Orbitz, Creating Online Booking Mega-Agency; What it Means for Travelers

Photo (cc) by chrisjtse

Just weeks after purchasing Travelocity, Expedia is buying another online booking rival, Orbitz, for $1.6 billion.

Expedia bought Travelocity in January for $280 million, USA Today reported. The Orbitz merger means Expedia now controls its namesake site, Travelocity, Trivago, Hotwire.com, CheapTickets.com, Hotels.com and Orbitz.com.

Expedia’s acquisitions have succeeded in “cementing its place as the No. 1 digital travel provider,” USA Today said.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Orbitz acquisition gives Expedia a market share of more than 6 percent of the travel retail area. Priceline, which includes Booking.com and Kayak, has a 5 percent market share.

“It’s now Expedia vs. Priceline, head to head,” Robert Cole, a travel industry analyst and consultant, told USA Today.

Typically, consolidation, which cuts competition, isn’t good news for consumers. Fortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case with Expedia’s mergers. According to Money, the consolidation of travel search engines should have little to no impact on travelers’ bottom line.

“There are so many ways now to buy travel online, Priceline, AirBnB, Google Flights, buying direct from vendors like AA.com, Hilton.com, and many more to come, that there will still be options and competition, and little consumer effect,” George Hobica, founder of the low-price flight specialist AirfareWatchdog said in an email to Money.

Though travelers aren’t likely to notice any changes in search engine results or travel pricing as a result of the merger, the hotel and lodging industry is keeping a close eye on the merger. About 19 percent of hotel bookings are made through online travel agencies such as Expedia, the WSJ said. Those sites are paid a commission by the hotels.

Expedia said it doesn’t plan to use the Orbitz merger to raise hotel commissions, the WSJ reports. Still, hotels are wary.

“This most recent merger raises questions, and appears to be counter to the goal of creating more consumer choice,” the American Hotel & Lodging Association said. “We will be watching this development closely as the process moves forward.”

What do you think of Expedia’s planned acquisition of Orbitz? Do you have a favorite online travel agency? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Before planning your next big adventure, watch this video for tips on doing it well and without spending more than you should:

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Drivers Give These 5 Car Insurers the Highest Marks
Drivers Give These 5 Car Insurers the Highest Marks

One company claimed the top ranking in several categories.

The 13 Worst Types of Tickets for Your Car Insurance Rate
The 13 Worst Types of Tickets for Your Car Insurance Rate

Some types of traffic violations can drive your car insurance rate dramatically higher.

What Brand Makes the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?
What Brand Makes the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?

The best battery depends on what you need it for and how big your budget is. Here’s how to find the cheapest brand that will do the job you need.

15 of the Most Outrageously Overpriced Products
15 of the Most Outrageously Overpriced Products

Retailers mark up products by hundreds of times their cost — but you don’t have to pay the premium.

The Worst Nursing Homes in America Are Revealed
The Worst Nursing Homes in America Are Revealed

The nursing homes with a history of providing subpar care previously hadn’t been identified for a government list.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

These 10 Postal Price Hikes Start Next Week
These 10 Postal Price Hikes Start Next Week

Starting on Jan. 24, the price of various mail and shipping services will rise.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them
5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them

State personal income tax rates, brackets and deductions just changed in these places.

The 10 Golden Rules of Becoming a Millionaire
The 10 Golden Rules of Becoming a Millionaire

I’m a millionaire several times over. I got here the same way you can — by following these simple steps.

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.