Elliot call's Expedia’s $280 million acquisition of Travelocity, and the reportedly imminent sale of Orbitz, what it is: the latest chapter in an online-travel soap opera. For him, an important competitor has been eliminated, which means consumers have fewer choices. That could result in worse customer service, say observers. Remember that Travelocity used to offer a guarantee that promised to make things right during travel if something went wrong. Expedia hasn’t matched that guarantee, at least not yet. But does the drama of the online travel world actually mean anything for your next trip? Maybe, says Edward Hasbrouck, an online travel industry expert and author of “The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World.” “The business reasons why the sites’ owners are choosing to merge aren’t really relevant to consumers,” he says. “What’s relevant to consumers is the reduction of competition.” Get the full story at The Washington Post Read also "What the Expedia-Travelocity deal says about online travel" at Investor Place