Why now? - 2015 was a watershed year. Expedia acquired Travelocity and Orbitz, effectively turning the U.S. market into a two-horse race. Between a hot mix of M&A and organic growth, Expedia Inc. and The Priceline Group (really Booking.com) combined accounted for nearly two thirds of OTA global gross bookings. Their combined share of the U.S. OTA market is well north of 90%. - The OTAs are crushing it. They are growing much faster than the U.S. hotel market. In fact, 2016 was the first year when OTA lodging bookings in the U.S. exceeded total hotel website gross bookings. And they're growing even faster overseas in the more fragmented hotel markets of Europe, Asia and elsewhere. Such aggregation of demand among two major players means enormous leverage at the negotiating table. - The Seeds of Discontent. Hotels serve several masters, but chief among them are owners. All owners ask a fundamental question: Why affiliate with a brand? The answer, of course, is obvious: to bring in more demand and more revenue. The rapid growth of OTAs has many hotels rethinking those calculations. Why pay fees to the brands and still pay more commission to OTAs as their contribution grows? Get the full story at Phocuswright