OTA & Travel Distribution Update: Sabre likely to face anti-trust challenge; Google now offers vacation rentals; Priceline and WeConvene announce investor event collaboration

Foster Garvey PC

Sabre Likely to Face Anti-Trust Challenge
("DOJ Poised to Sue to Block Sabre’s Deal for Farelogix," Bloomberg News on Aug 16, 2019)
Following up on a story we featured back in April...According to reports coming out of the U.S. Justice Department, the anti-trust division is prepared to file suit as early as Monday to put a stop to Sabre’s planned acquisition of Farelogix, which is scheduled to close Wednesday.  As noted in our previous stories, opponents of the proposed acquisition fear that Sabre (purveyor of legacy GDS systems) is seeking to acquire Farelogix (purveyor of new technology) simply to quash the upstart competitor. 

Google Now Offering Vacation Rentals
("What’s next for Google’s expansion into vacation rentals?" Phocus Wire on Aug 16, 2019)
According to James Burrows, co-founder and CEO of vacation rental software company, Rentals United, Google has begun working with a handful of vacation rental software companies like Rentals United to integrate vacation rentals into its hotel search results (Google Search and Google Maps).   Burrows attributes Google’s relatively slow pursuit of the vacation rental industry to fragmentation (hundreds of thousands of individual rental owners) and lack of standardized product.  Burrows speculates that Google will continue to proceed cautiously given its many challenges and its established relationships with a few of the industry’s largest distribution channels (Booking.com and Expedia). 

Priceline and WeConvene Announce Investor Event Collaboration
("WeConvene And Priceline Announce A Platform Collaboration, Delivering Integrated Travel Deals And Booking Solutions To WeConvene’s Event Management Clients," GlobeNewswire - Company Announcement on Aug 8, 2019)
WeConvene, a purveyor of event creation, marketing and planning services for the investment industry, announced plans this past week to work with Priceline to integrate its travel products and services onto the WeConvene platform.   The integration will allow hosts of investor events to access and book needed transportation and accommodations while planning for the event.    

Other news:

The Standard Hotels’ One Night to Launch New App Where Customers Operate as Travel Advisors
Skift Travel News on Aug 15, 2019
In a move to break free from the growing power online travel agencies have over the hotel booking process, Standard International subsidiary One Night, Inc. is launching a recommendations-based app for customers.

Could bots be making our summer vacations more expensive?
The Jerusalem Post - Front Page on Aug 13, 2019
The summer vacation season is in full swing. While some families secure their sunshine getaways months in advance, others opt to wait until the last minute to snap up cheap last-minute deals offered by online travel services.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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