Published on Wednesday, April 11, 2012
GDS giant Amadeus has thrown its weight behind Expedia's complaint to the European Commission that search engine Google is abusing its dominant position on the Internet.
TripAdvisor and 11 other companies have also complained about Google to the EC, which opened an investigation into Google in November 2010.
The complaints concern Google Flight which, like Expedia and TripAdvisor, allows users to search for airline tickets online.
Amadeus said its decision to back Expedia's complaint was "in the long-term best interests of the travel industry as a whole".
It said: "Amadeus has been carefully considering the impact of recent developments and listening to the understandable concerns of those affected - in particular online travel agencies.
"Amadeus shares the same concerns as Expedia and is therefore supportive of its decision to file a complaint against Google with the European Commission."
The EC's investigation is attempting to establish whether Google, the largest search engine, is abusing its dominant position by rigging online search results to give preference to its own linked services and lowering the ranking of competing services.
Amadeus said it did not view Google as a direct competitor to its travel distribution business as it was focused on providing services and booking capabilities to providers of travel services and travel agents.
"For decades travel agents have added value as intermediaries by providing consistent, high-quality and reliable services that allow travellers to find the best value and most appropriate travel solutions from the widest possible range of travel providers," it said.
"It is critical to ensure that Google Flight Search does not mislead consumers into believing that Google offers comprehensive and neutral results, whereas in fact they may be biased, favouring Google’s own services even if they are of a lower quality and an even higher price than other services offered by independent travel distributors.
"It also leads to consumers potentially missing out on the best price available in the market, and limits fair competition between airlines."
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.