ACCC raises concerns over Expedia bid for Wotif
by Mitchell Bingemann, The Australian
EXPEDIA’S $703 million acquisition of Wotif.com has been placed in jeopardy as the competition regulator raised concerns that the buyout could lessen competition in the online travel and accommodation market.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a “Statement of Issues” outlining a range of competition issues that need to be addressed before the acquisition can receive regulatory approval.
Of chief concern to the ACCC is whether or not the removal of Wotif from the Australian market will increase the rate of commissions charged to hotels and other accommodation providers in Australia.
“Market inquiries have indicated that Wotif is a major source of bookings for Australian accommodation providers and charges a lower commission rate than Expedia,” said ACCC chairman Rod Sims.