The European Commission has given unconditional approval to the acquisition of Cheapflights parent Momondo Group by booking.com and KAYAK parent Priceline.
In a judgement released on Monday the Commission concluded that the transaction raises no competition concerns in the European Economic Area.
The Commission assessed the impact of the $550 million deal on of metasearch markets in the EEA.
It also examined a number of vertical relationships arising from the merging companies’ activities in the operation of metasearch sites and their activities in operating online travel agents downstream.
The Commission’s investigation found:
• The companies’ metasearch activities are largely geographically complementary in the EEA, as Priceline has limited activities in the Nordic countries, where Momondo has a strong market position. Conversely, in countries like Germany and Austria, Priceline’s brands have a stronger market position and Momondo is weaker. Therefore, the strengthening of the merged entity’s market position in EEA markets will be limited.
• The merged entity will be competing with several other global meta search operators, such as Skyscanner, Trivago, TripAdvisor, Google (through Google Hotels and Google flights), as well as by operators of smaller, regional or national, meta search sites.