European Commission launches Phase II investigation of proposed online travel agency merger

The European Commission is conducting an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Flugo Group Holdings AB by Booking Holdings.  Headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, Booking Holdings operates Booking.com, Rentalcars.com, Kayak, Priceline, Agoda.com, and OpenTable, among others, offering transportation, hotel, rental car and other travel service reservation services, along with price comparison and travel-related insurance products.   Flugo Group Holdings, based in Sweden, operates under the name eTraveli, and is also active in the provision of online travel agency services through brands such as Gotogate, My Trip, Seat24, and SuperSaver. 

The investigation is being conducted pursuant to the European Union Merger Regulation.  The proposed merger was notified to the EC on October 10, 2022.  After notification, the EC has 25 working days to grant approval – Phase 1 – or to initiate an in-depth investigation – Phase II.  The in-depth investigation will conclude within 90 business days, after which the EC will decide whether to approve the transaction unconditionally, approve it subject to conditions, or to prohibit the transaction.

The UK Competition Authority cleared the transaction unconditionally following a Phase I review on September 29, 2022.

EC press release 

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