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Oliver Heckmann, VP Travel at Google, announced that they have partnered with Amoma to surface thousands of hotel prices via Google Hotel Ads.
This is significant because Amoma is Enemy#1 for out-of-parity prices. They’ve built a successful business on buying packaged or wholesale rates (e.g. designed for sale bundled with flights) on the grey market and then splitting them without regard for parity contracts.
There’s certainly no legal reason why Amoma should be restricted from doing this – after all, they’re not the ones who contract with hotels.
However it creates a massive headache for hoteliers attempting to manage their rates and online distribution.
I suspect the Amoma news is bad for hotels – at least in the short term. Google’s growing presence in hotel search will help the resellers.
However I wonder if in the long-term the growth of Amoma spells the end for some wholesalers. The mid-sized players are already getting squeezed in the market. Hotels may start to insist on penalty clauses “for every out-of-parity booking made on a 3rd party site but running through your system, we will fine you 5X the value of that booking”. Or perhaps they should just have a ‘three-strikes and you’re out’ policy.