Expedia-Orbitz Merger Wins Antitrust Bid

    Expedia’s purchase of Orbitz Worldwide has received clearance from U.S. Antitrust officials reviewing the $1.3 billion deal, reports Bloomberg Business.

    Since the news was released, shares for both companies have risen. Spokesmen for the companies have not yet commented.

    The deal leaves two major U.S. online travel agencies. However, the article states Expedia’s share of U.S. air and hotel bookings will be only 12 percent, per estimates from Piper Jaffray Cos.

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    The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) issued the following statement on the matter:

    “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.”

    To read the full statement, click here.

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