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Not so fast, you two.
The U.S. Department of Justice has asked Expedia Inc. and Orbitz Worldwide for additional documents pertaining to theiir proposed $1.34 billion merger, the companies stated.
“Issuance of the second request is a standard phase of the regulatory process,” according to a joint statement from the two companies. “Expedia and Orbitz intend to respond to the second request and to cooperate fully with the DOJ. We believe that this transaction will benefit competition and consumers and are working to help the DOJ complete its review before the end of the year.”
The second request doesn’t portend that the deal is in trouble. On the other hand, there is no way to know at this point if the DOJ believes the marriage may be problematic.
In 2010, the DOJ issued a second request for documents from Google and ITA Software over their $750 million merger. Google eventually entered into a consent decree with the DOJ to get the merger cleared.
The Priceline Group’s $1.8 billion acquisition of Kayak closed in 2013 later than expected after the UK’s Office of Fair Trading initiated an extended regulatory review. In the U.S., the DOJ did not reach out in a second request for documents.
Regarding the Expedia-Orbitz tie-up, Expedia would have to pay Orbitz a $115 million fee (8 percent of the deal’s equity value) if regulators kill the deal, and Orbitz would have to pay Expedia $57.5 million (4 percent of the deal’s equity value) if Orbitz accepts a superior offer in the interim.