This week in digital news, European Commission antitrust regulators are investigating the business practices of distribution-tech providers Amadeus and Sabre. We also have analysis on Marriott's massive data breach and the impending arrival of 5G.
Digital Travel News Weekly Roundup
Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines digital trends.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
>>It’s anyone’s guess whether travel distribution giants Amadeus and Sabre might have run afoul of the European Union’s rules. But a look at the history of those companies’ airline contracts provides clues as to what might be top of mind with investigators: European Regulators Will Focus on Distributors’ Restrictive Airline Contracts
>>Over the years, the big global distribution systems have been a major barrier to innovation by airlines and travel startups, in particular. The European Commission now intends to take a serious look at this dynamic: European Commission Is Probing Travel Distribution Systems for Anticompetitive Practices
>>Starwood Preferred Guest elite members thought that not getting full stay credits would be the absolute worst of this mega-merger: What Marriott’s Data Breach Means for the Hotel Giant and Guests
>>Loyalty members don’t seem to be too bothered by Marriott’s recent breach of more than 500 million users’ personal data. Part of that could be low expectations for Marriott, or because this isn’t the first data breach rodeo for many: Marriott Data Breach Does Little to Rattle Already Weary Loyalty Members
>>Several years ago, the hotel industry fought U.S. federal watchdog efforts to fine chains for negligent data protection practices, arguing that hotels had things under control. Hmm. A rash of hotel security incidents since then undercuts the claims of hotels, which need to take a more bank-like approach to data protection: Marriott’s Starwood Data Breach Joins a Decade-Long List of Hotel Data Exposures
>>Arriving soon: 5G mobile internet. But it will likely be years before it is deployed around the world in any significant ways. Travel companies, along with event professionals, should start planning now for a future defined by ubiquitous access to high-speed data: What 5G Will Mean for Hotels and Events
>>Fast mobile data connections will allow event technology providers to do all kinds of cool new things. Event planners should pay attention as 5G begins to emerge in cities around the world and shifts how attendees act at events: Why 5G Will Change the Game for Events
>>It appeared several years ago that Ctrip had locked up the Chinese online travel market when it took control of Qunar and Elong, but that ship has sailed. The emergence of Meituan and now Tongcheng-Elong’s initial public offering make it clear that many players will scramble for market leadership: Ctrip and Tencent Team Up for IPO to Back Emerging Chinese Travel Brand
>>In settling this lawsuit, Amadeus doesn’t admit to any wrongdoing or violations of antitrust law. Along with Travelport, Amadeus agreed to have its team engage in antitrust compliance training: Amadeus to Pay $3 Million to Settle an Antitrust Lawsuit in the U.S.
>>In what appears to be a clash of ideals and aspirations, the brains behind Traveloka’s technology, Derianto Kusuma, is leaving the company he co-founded in early 2012. It is telling how a startup that has reached unicorn status is changing. But is it for the better? Disillusioned Traveloka Co-Founder Resigns, Saying ‘This Game Is No Longer for Me’
>>Holidayme has scooped up $16 million in new investment from Gobi. But can the UAE eagle soar in Asian skies where Tripfez, Gobi’s first investment in the Muslim travel space, had barely tapped the potential of the market? Gobi Bets on Middle East Player Holidayme to Unlock Asia’s Muslim Travel Market
>>The dream of being a turnaround artist who swoops into a distressed company to restore growth is appealing to many people. But CEO Dana Dunne is finding that the turnaround of eDreams Odigeo that he has been pursuing since 2015 is a long hard slog: eDreams Odigeo Shows Its Turnaround Is No Quick Fix
>>A $150 million investment in Plusgrade may seem like a lot, given the scope of the market for the company’s services. But we’re not surprised that a business that specializes in drawing out the highest price from bidders in consumer markets would attract this level of funding: Plusgrade Nets $150 Million Investment for Auctioning Travel Products
>>Airline distribution is one thing, but travel management companies need to totally revamp their systems to provide comprehensive tracking and service across all elements of a trip. It’s unclear whether these baby steps will turn into a giant leap for the sector: Corporate Travel Works to Improve Air Bookings But a Full Tech Fix Is Still Elusive
>>Travel management companies are working to rebuild the complicated systems that actually let them sell and manage travel. Those who decide to stick with their existing technology stack will likely be left behind: How Biz Travel Is Being Rebuilt
>>For being one of the most important business, political, and tourism stories, a lot of Africa coverage tends to only hit a few notes. Here are some ideas on how travel reporting can evolve, and incorporate more voices and add deeper perspectives: What the Travel Media Gets So Horribly Wrong About Africa
>>Bidroom, one of Skift’s Top Startups to Watch in 2018, aims to challenge traditional online travel agencies with an Amazon Prime-like subscription model. Plus, fundings galore for Festicket, GlobalTix, Zizoo, Hotel Effectiveness, Loisirs Enchères, Bookaway, LokaLocal, and Vacation With an Artist: Bidroom Raises $17 Million for Its Hotel Booking Platform: Travel Startup Funding This Week
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Photo credit: Sabre Hackathon in Las Vegas. European Commission antitrust regulators are investigating the business practices of Amadeus and Sabre. Sabre