In a move that is set to shake the online travel agency market, the European Union's merger regulators have halted Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG) Inc.'s acquisition of Sweden's Etraveli Group. The proposed transaction, valued at €1.6 billion ($1.7 billion), has been blocked due to concerns over potential damage to the market, announced on Monday.
The European Commission expressed its apprehension regarding the deal, highlighting that it could potentially enhance Booking's prevailing dominance in the market. This could result in increased costs for hotels and possibly even consumers. The Commission's concerns are rooted in the belief that the deal would further empower Booking, thereby creating an imbalance in the marketplace.
This decision comes as a significant setback for Booking Holdings Inc., which had planned to expand its footprint in the online travel agency sector through this acquisition. The blocking of this takeover underscores the European regulators' commitment to maintaining a competitive balance within the industry.
This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.