June 28, 2017 View in browser

Note From the Editor

Many travel companies in Europe and North America, in particular, feel that Google’s mammoth power has severely disadvantaged them. The largest companies like Expedia and the Priceline Group have the resources to participate heavily in Google’s travel advertising services, and can use them to their advantage. But most companies likely feel aggrieved.

They must be taking some solace today in the fact that EU antitrust authorities have levied a $2.7 billion fine against Google for its practice of favoring its own shopping products over those of competitors. That’s very similar to what Google does with flights and hotels. The EU ruling doesn’t directly impact travel — but a large swath of the travel industry hopes that the decision will provide impetus for regulators to take up their cause.
Top Stories
New Research Report: The State of Consumer Payments in Travel 2017
Consumer's adoption of new payment methods and devices for settling purchases is the main driver of new payment methods adoption by companies. Yet travel companies can gain a valuable competitive advantage by predicting trends in payments and making payments as easy as possible for everyone.

Designing an Airline Seat From Scratch Is Not as Easy as It Looks
Building a coach airline seat is not like creating home furniture. Building stuff for aircraft is remarkably complicated. We got an inside look recently at the production center for an aircraft seat-maker. Here's some of what we learned.

International Tourist Spending in U.S. at Record High Heading into Summer
We won't call it a Trump bump, but we do see some kind of increase occurring in international visitor spending so far this year. But spending seems to be down since February. The summer travel season should provide more clarity.

Lastminute.com Group CEO: We Consider Ourselves a Media Company
It's clear from his answers that Fabio Cannavale will keep looking to buy more companies. He thinks there are plenty of companies for sale and he's got some cash on hand.

Google Slapped With Record $2.7 Billion EU Antitrust Fine for Biasing Search Results
This is a big defeat for Google although with $90 billion in cash, the $2.7 billion fine won't imperil the company. This ruling is about shopping and doesn't impact Google's travel services, although it gives Google's travel critics a bit of momentum.

Supreme Court Travel Ban Ruling Not Expected to Create Airport Chaos
While the U.S. Supreme Court-allowed version of the travel ban is more limited than earlier versions and unlikely to create mass chaos, the travel industry will still have to deal with the fallout of the Trump administration sending a non-welcoming message about international travel.
Still Popular
Booking.com Is Expanding Beyond Hotels and Into Flights, Cars and Restaurants
The Priceline Group has been looking at adding flights to its largest site, Booking.com, for years, but has hesitated for fear of detracting from its core hotels product. But in this case, taking a "stronger together" approach and leveraging the group's other in-house brands could ultimately pay off.

Don’t Expect Hotel Companies to Stop Launching New Soft Brands Anytime Soon
Why? They make money. And they're easier to roll out than a "hard brand." (Thus, why those are "hard.")

German Hotel Booking Giant HRS Tilts Further Toward Corporate Travel
We applaud Germany’s largest travel tech company for trying to help business travelers check in and check out of hotels more quickly by investing in app-connected sensors at hundreds of hotels.
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