Airbnb shakes up online travel

|About: Airbnb, Inc. (AIRB)|By:, SA News Editor

Airbnb's (AIRB) $465M acquisition of HotelTonight is expected to accelerate the e-commerce player's move into hotels.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch thinks the move could even intensify competition with Booking (NASDAQ:BKNG) and Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE). "Other than giving its customers the ability to book hotel rooms, the acquisition also provides Airbnb with an established brand for acquiring hotel inventory which could be incorporated on Airbnb," notes the firm.

The integration of HotelTonight will also give Airbnb a crack at a new growth segment.

BAML sees Airbnb, Booking and Expedia nabbing about 38% of the global accomodation market (ex-China) by 2021 as competition ratchets up. The new direction by Airbnb could also have an impact on TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP), Ctrip.com (NASDAQ:CTRP), Despegar.com (NYSE:DESP) and Trivago (NASDAQ:TRVG) in certain markets.

Previously: Airbnb confirms plans to acquire HotelTonight (March 7)

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