Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
Travelport has completed its acquisition of global distribution system (GDS) company, Worldspan, for $1.4bn (”704m) following approval by the European Commission (EC).
Despite EC”s initial doubt that a merger would give rise to competition concerns in the European market, it cleared the transaction having decided ”the acquisition is unlikely to result in unilateral price increases by the merged firm.” The deal was approved by the US Federal Trade Commission in July this year.
This transaction makes Travelport one of the world”s largest networks of travel brands, with former Worldspan GDS competitor, Galileo, also part of the group. Travelport is itself majority-owned by The Blackstone Group, which recently entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Hilton for $26bn (see ABTN 6 July).
”Galileo will be enhanced by Worldspan”s online distribution technology platform, while Worldspan will benefit from Galileo”s expanded supplier base and expansive content,” said Travelport GDS division CEO, Gordon Wilson.
Travelport customers can expect an enhanced shopping platform, a rapid re-pricing system that will reduce the cost and time of refunding and exchanging airline tickets and greater localised content for clients around the world.
”We will be working on enhancements and operations efficiencies including systems integrity, fare accuracy and ease-of-use that capitalise on the GDS knowledge and experience of Galileo and Worldspan.”
Merger deals between normally competing GDS companies to meet the demands of a more global marketplace are on the increase. Most recently, the two other GDS giants, Amadeus and Sabre Travel Network, announced a joint venture for non-air operations that awaits anti-trust approval from the EC (see ABTN 8 August).