Travelers, hotel brands and hotel operators all have good reason to fear this sort of consolidation in the OTA market. Let me explain why. Higher Costs for Hotels Orbitz and Travelocity lost out to leaders Expedia and Priceline a while back. Still, they had their market share and their contracts in place with hotel suppliers. With this latest consolidation, the option of selling your rooms on a different channel is gone. Your new “Expe-Orbit-Ocity” contract now will contain much higher margins for hotels because there’s nowhere else for hotels to go. Now, why do hotel brands and operators need Expedia? I’ll say it one more time. Because they do not dominate the search engines, nor do they have a particularly good grasp on their own marketing, direct revenue and ecommerce. Just remember… if you don’t like Expedia, now you can also forget about Travelocity, Orbitz, Wotif and Trivago (all now owned by Expedia). Airlines, on the other hand, do not have much to fear; they just walk out on the OTA’s like clockwork every year and then get back on board when the margins are corrected. Industrial Style Customer Service Supersizing things is generally not a healthy choice. This is especially true when it comes to larger enterprises and customer support. Try calling the ultra-consolidated United Airlines, American Airlines, Comcast, Vonage, UPS, or Network Solutions when you need assistance (as I’m sure you all have). All of these companies have grown through acquisitions, and every step has been a nightmare for their customers. This is yet another reason why Expedia’s shopping spree does not translate into anything good for the hotels that will now have to deal with a behemoth team. Higher Prices for Travelers Let’s not forget about the travelers. We all learned in Econ 101 that less competition breeds higher prices. Anyone checking the airfares since the Continental-United and American–US Airways mergers knows what I am talking about. So what happens the next time you need a hotel room? Sure, go to Priceline and check the rates. Need a Hotel+Air package? Oh then, sorry, Expe-Orbit-Ocity is what you have. Even with the astronomical growth of Airbnb, you still require an airplane to get to your destination. Of course, several industry experts are not convinced about price increases for the end customer because travel is such a big market. It may take a longer time for these acquisitions to impact hotels than airlines, but the rise is coming. Get the full story at Words of Vikram Read also "Time for hotels to focus on driving direct bookings" at Madigan Pratt