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Priceline and Expedia Control 90% of the US Online Travel Market

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Consolidation of online travel market space

In the last ten years or so, The Priceline Group (PCLN) and Expedia (EXPE) have acquired a variety of companies to consolidate their positions in the online travel market segment.

While Priceline has acquired companies such as Booking.com, Agoda, and Kayak, Expedia has acquired Orbitz Worldwide, Travelocity, and holiday rental service HomeAway (AWAY). The two companies now have more than 90% of market share in the US online travel market.

Earlier this year, Priceline also signed an exclusive deal with TripAdvisor (TRIP), wherein TripAdvisor will provide direct booking facilities to its customers from Booking.com’s listings.

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Priceline has over 820,000 properties listed on Booking.com

At the end of 3Q15, Priceline reported that it had over 820,000 properties listed on Booking.com, a YoY (year-over-year) rise of 38%. In comparison, Expedia reported that it had 270,000 properties listed at the end of 3Q15.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Priceline is looking to invest $60 million in Latin America’s hotel chain Urbano, four months after Expedia took a minority stake in Argentina-based Decolar.com. With the Olympics to be held in Brazil next year, this presents an interesting opportunity for Priceline to increase its revenues.

“Brazil is a dynamic, fast-growing market and both of us are growing very rapidly within its region,” said Darren Huston, president and CEO (chief executive officer) of Priceline. “We are excited to partner with Hotel Urbano to help globalize their offering and let their customers experience the best of what both of us have to offer.”

Priceline forms 2.3% and 1.2% of the iShares US Consumer Services ETF (IYC) and the PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ), respectively.

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