This week in digital news, Google, Facebook, and Amazon may be facing tough antitrust enforcement from U.S. regulators, making life easier for some travel companies. Plus, TripAdvisor responds to a petition started by a sexual assault survivor, and General Atlantic invests in a tech startup known for selling cheap air tickets.
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.
Here Are Travel’s Big Winners in an Antitrust Crackdown on Big Tech: Some are too scared to say so publicly, but much of the travel industry would welcome a diminution of Google’s vast market power. If a U.S. regulatory probe gets going against Big Tech, it is a very open question how far-reaching a remedy might be in the offing.
TripAdvisor Pressured Into Making Additional Reforms to Support Sexual Assault Victims: If you think protest is futile, then you’re wrong. Petitioners didn’t think TripAdvisor went far enough to promote traveler safety, and they got the travel website to take stock of itself and make additional reforms.
General Atlantic Buys Startup Kiwi.com in Travel Tech Play by Private Equity: A top-tier private equity firm like General Atlantic should provide a strong tailwind for Kiwi as it branches out from selling plane tickets into other types of travel. But it’s a bit surprising that Ctrip.com or another travel conglomerate didn’t bite instead.
AirAsia’s Expansion Into Online Travel Draws Skepticism From Potential Competitors: It’s obvious that executives from Booking, Expedia, and Rakuten are laying odds that AirAsia won’t be very successful in striving to add online travel agency services. Several airlines have already tried and failed at it, although AirAsia seems to be undertaking a much more thoughtful and rigorous approach.
Lola Navigates Big Growth a Year After Amex GBT Deal: Lola clearly made a good choice with this partnership, but it raises some questions. As the startup works with increasingly larger companies, in locations all around the world, how will its core product change?
Expedia Mulls Matching Booking on Resort Fee Commissions: When Priceline ended traveler fees on airline bookings a decade ago, the other online travel agencies generally followed. Whether Expedia will match Booking.com and start charging hotels commissions on resort fees is a much more complex issue. Part of it depends on how much resistance Booking gets from hotels to its new policy.
Amadeus Backs Startup Volantio to Help Airlines Manage Overbooked Flights: Props to Volantio, which won the Air Pitch startup competition at Skift Global Forum last year, for now getting investment and sales support from Amadeus.
CellPoint Mobile Raises $14 Million for App Services: Travel Startup Funding This Week. CellPoint Mobile, which helps airlines and other travel companies run their mobile apps more effectively, has received $14 million in investment. The move underscores the ongoing venture capital interest in business-to-business services in travel.
Lola Bounces Back After Funding Round and Amex GBT Deal: It seems like Lola’s fortunes have turned around after raising some funding and partnering with American Express Global Business Travel. The company’s next year will be crucial as it looks to go international.
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Photo credit: Google Headquarters in King's Cross, London on April 29, 2019. Russell Harper / Skift