Online travel agency Booking Holdings will on Friday 7 July try to convince European Union antitrust regulators to allow its €1.63 billion acquisition of Sweden's ETraveli Group, despite concerns it could hurt competition.
Booking announced its bid for peer ETraveli, owner of the brands Gotogate and Mytrip and operator of airline content distribution services provider TripStack, in November 2021. Etraveli is owned by private equity firm CVC Capital.
The European Commission said last month the deal will make it harder for rivals to compete with market leader Booking, by reinforcing its position in hotels and further expanding its reach into travel services like flights and car rentals.
Booking will attempt to address regulators' concerns at a closed hearing in Brussels on Friday 7 July, Booking told Reuters via email.
Senior officials from the EU competition watchdog and national antitrust agencies, as well commission lawyers, will participate in the hearing.
Booking may have to offer remedies following the hearing to prevent a veto on the deal. The Commission is scheduled to decide on the matter by 30 August.
Booking's brands include Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, KAYAK, Rentalcars.com and OpenTable.
EU Antitrust Regulators Warn ETraveli Deal Will Reinforce Booking Holdings
The above news follows news from last month that the European Union's antitrust regulators had warned that Booking Holdings' planned acquisition ETraveli may strengthen the US company's position in the market for hotel online travel agencies, and push up costs for hotels.