Amadeus backs Expedia’s Google complaint

Amadeus backs Expedia’s Google complaint

Amadeus has backed Expedia in filing an anti-trust complaint against Google.

Online travel agency Expedia complained to the European Competition commissioner earlier in April, adding to a growing number of anti-trust complaints against the search giant.

Amadeus said it shares the same concerns as Expedia “and is therefore supportive of its decision to file a complaint against Google with the European Commission”. 

The European travel technology and distribution firm said: “It is critical to ensure that Google Flight Search does not mislead consumers into believing that Google offers comprehensive and neutral results, whereas in fact they may be biased, favouring Google’s own services even if they are of a lower quality and an even higher price than other services offered by independent travel distributors.

“It also leads to consumers potentially missing out on the best price available in the market, and limits fair competition between airlines.”

Amadeus’ stance comes despite noises from the company suggesting that if Google is to make a concerted play for the European flight distribution market with its Flight Search service it would need an established partner like Amadeus as it has ITA in the US. (see page 9 of the latest edition of Travolution).

Amadeus added: “Amadeus does not view Google as a direct competitor to its travel distribution business – whilst Google leads in search, the Amadeus distribution business is focused on providing services and booking capabilities to providers of travel services and travel agents.

“For decades travel agents have added value as intermediaries by providing consistent, high-quality and reliable services that allow travellers to find the best value and most appropriate travel solutions from the widest possible range of travel providers.” 

Amadeus said it had been carefully considering the impact of recent developments and listening to the understandable concerns of those affected – in particular online travel agencies.

The Expedia complaint alleged “specific business and search practices by Google that constitute a violation of EU competition and consumer protection laws”.

Others backing the action include and TripAdvisor.

Competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia has said he may decide whether to proceed with a case against Google later this month.

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