Our first weekly Online Travel Update for 2023 is below. With many still celebrating the recent holidays, last week remained rather quiet in the online travel world. Enjoy.
- Booking.com and Expedia Mobile Apps Fare Well in 2022. Mobile app downloads are one of the many metrics that industry analysts like to watch when evaluating online travel companies. According to a recent report from Apptopia, both Booking.com and Expedia fared well in the United States in 2022. Booking.com’s mobile app moved up one spot to fifth in 2022 travel app downloads, and Expedia’s app jumped two spots to seventh. Last year’s industry darling, Hopper, fell five spots to ninth (not entirely surprising given the now ubiquitous nature of Hopper’s price prediction and fintech tools). Expedia’s jump reflects a near doubling of annual downloads (16.6 million) over 2021. American Airlines was the only travel supplier to make the United States top ten list, with 12.3 million downloads. Internationally, Booking.com also faired well, coming in third in 2022 international travel app downloads. Among the OTA apps, Booking.com was the most downloaded app in both the United States and internationally.
- Further Details on India’s Approach to Rate Parity. A few months ago, we shared details of the Competition Counsel of India’s decision imposing heavy penalties against India-based online travel agent, Make My Trip (and its related companies) and ordering the removal of contractual rate and availability parity provisions in its supplier contracts. This week we feature a story that goes into greater detail regarding the CCI’s decision and the factors it considered before rendering its decision. A couple of key takeaways . . . First, the CCI evaluated MMT’s behavior in the context of online intermediation services for hotel bookings in India (a narrow definition of the relevant market), not the much broader market definition proposed by MMT (a similar market definition issue is now before a Dutch court). Second, the anti-competitive effects of MMT’s broad parity obligations, exclusive listing obligations and deep rate discounts (a trifecta of factors working against hoteliers and other competing OTAs) more than outweighed the so-called “free rider” concerns voiced by MMT. Third, the fact MMT’s requirements may have been “industry standard” does not carry much weight if the distributor at issue has sufficient market power to determine the relevant market’s terms.
Have a great week everyone. For those of you traveling to Seattle later this month for HEDNA’s annual Global Distribution Conference, I hope to see you there. I’ll be speaking on Wednesday morning on the new distribution regulatory environment.
Booking.com, Vrbo and Expedia gain ground in U.S. app downloads
January 6, 2023 via Phocuswire
Mobile apps from Booking.com and Vrbo advanced one spot each - to fifth and sixth place respectively - on a list of 2022’s most downloaded travel apps in the United States compared to their positions in 2021, according to new data from Apptopia. The Expedia app is up from ninth ...
Clarity on parity? Potential implications of the CCI’s order against MMT-Go for intermediation platforms
January 6, 2023 via Lexology
On 19 October 2022, the Competition Commission of India (the CCI) imposed heavy penalties on MakeMyTrip India Private Limited (MMT) and Ibibo Group Private Limited (collectively, MMT-Go) and directed MMT-Go to, inter alia, modify its agreements with hotels to remove parity and exclusivity related obligations. Legitimacy of price parity clauses ...
About the Editor
Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.