The European Union’s executive body announced Monday that it has prevented the American travel agency specializing in the field of online travel, “Booking,” from acquiring the Swedish airline reservation company, “Etravelly Group,” because this would strengthen its dominant position in the market.
The Commission said that the solutions and corrective measures provided by Booking “did not adequately address its concerns related to the continuation of competition.”
Booking’s brands include: Booking.com, Rentalcars, Priceline and Agoda.
Booking Hollings, headquartered in Delaware, has a number of well-known brands under its banner, including Booking.com and Kayak.
After an investigation, the Commission said it found that the proposed deal worth 1.63 billion euros ($1.8 billion) would have led to higher hotel costs, and possibly a negative impact on the price paid by consumers.
“The ban is rare, and today’s decision is in fact the first merger to be blocked this year,” EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said.
According to the European Commission, online travel agencies handle transactions worth more than 100 billion euros ($106 billion) annually.
Additional sources • dad
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