The European Commission has expressed concern about the possible acquisition of eTraveli by ado.
The European Executive has carried out an extensive investigation to understand the potential impact of the operation in the online travel platform (OTA) sector in which both companies operate, including, among other things, the analysis of internal documents provided by the parties and the collection of information and opinions from OTAs and participating hotels.
As a result of this in-depth investigation, the Commission has reached a preliminary conclusion that Booking is the dominant hotel OTA in the European Economic Area (EEA). Restrictions by competing OTAs, hotels and end customers,” he explained.
Among other factors, Brussels is concerned that this operation will allow Booking to expand its ecosystem of travel services, making its position more difficult to dispute; barriers to entry and expansion or “significantly increase” your online customer traffic, which “may allow you to increase your sales of hotel OTA services.” The eTraveli group offers flight search, booking and execution services with its Gotogate and Mytrip platforms and also has the TripStack airline search engine.
Decision until August 30
The Commission opened an in-depth investigation on November 16, 2022 after receiving notification of the operation on October 10 of the same year. Now, Brussels has until August 30 to make a final decision. The current statement has led to the so-called statement of charges, which is a formal step in an investigation to inform the affected companies in writing of the objections raised against them. Sending a statement of objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. Thus, Booking now has the opportunity to respond to the Commission’s statement of objections, consult the Commission’s file and request an oral hearing.