Booking Holdings has entered into an agreement to acquire hotel metasearch site, HotelsCombined. Based in Sydney, Australia with a strong presence in APAC and thousands of active affiliates worldwide, HotelsCombined will report into Booking Holdings’ leading travel metasearch brand, Kayak. Booking Holdings didn’t reveal the price tag.
A handful of analysts and industry players estimated it paid between about $250 million and $300 million. If true, that range would probably represent a very small amount above the company’s likely annualized revenue. HotelsCombined did not disclose revenue. But it did claim to have facilitated $2 billion in hotel accommodation sales globally in 2017.
Through its subsidiary Revato, HotelsCombined lets properties participate in its metasearch engine attracting direct bookings. This comes at a stiff 14% commission rate. With the new ownership of Booking Holdings hotels will face even more competition in the metasearch engines from Booking.com. So properties pay a premium in commission to be listed amongst the direct competition of OTA’s – which will surely see Booking.com’s results in the first slot. This and a core audience of price-sensitive shoppers may not be such a good deal for property owners to attract direct bookings.