Are CPC days numbered? After TripAdvisor and Google, Trivago launch its version of Instant Booking

Expedia Inc. has an answer to TripAdvisor’s partnership with the Priceline Group. 
Similar to TripAdvisor Instant Booking, Expedia-owned Trivago has launched hotel bookings on its site and app in Germany, and plans to expand it into English-speaking countries.

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Expedia Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, acknowledged concerns about the enhanced ties between rivals TripAdvisor and the Priceline Group.

90 % of Trivago’s desktop traffic and half of its app users in Germany can now participate in these on-site and in-app bookings.

Khosrowshahi conceded that TripAdvisor’s booking partnership with the Priceline Group, including, and Agoda, was “not a positive” development for Expedia and could hurt Expedia’s volumes from TripAdvisor. He added, though, that TripAdvisor, although an important distribution channel for Expedia, is a low-margin one.

In addition to Trivago, Google is testing hotel bookings on its search pages and in Google Maps and Khosrowshahi said Expedia intends to test this Book on Google feature, which he said might provide better branding for Expedia than TripAdvisor would do. 

Khosrowshahi said the data that Expedia gathers from testing Book on Google and feedback from consumers will drive the decision on whether Expedia ultimately will participate in Book on Google.

He left the door open, as well, for Expedia to eventually join the Book on TripAdvisor program.

Khosrowshahi said enhanced branding within TripAdvisor Instant Booking might be a positive development. Expedia is engaged in a dialogue with TripAdvisor and can always revisit whether or not to join TripAdvisor Instant Booking, he added.

Expedia is investing aggressively in Trivago, and its revenue grew 27% in the third quarter, year over year, to $176 million.

Khosrowshahi said Trivago could easily be turned into a profitable enterprise but it is currently focused on growth.