As booking sites consolidate, what does this mean for travelers? In February of this year, travel booking site Expedia announced that it would acquire Orbitz for $1.3 billion. This news came just weeks after Expedia purchased another rival booking site, Travelocity. Over the years, Expedia has also acquired several other sites including,,, and But last week, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (the hotel industry lobby group), slammed the Expedia-Orbitz merger, saying it would “severely reduce consumer choice in the online marketplace.” The group urged the U.S. Department of Justice, which is reviewing the merger, to stop it from happening. AHLA also voiced their concern about the commission fees that Expedia could charge hotels once it acquires Orbitz. Typically, Expedia charges 11 percent more in fees than Orbitz. Meanwhile, Consumer Watchdog issued its own statement yesterday, asking the U.S. Department of Justice to block the merger to “maintain vital competition that ensures fair prices for consumers." Consumer Watchdog said if the merger were to go through, Expedia and Priceline would control 95 percent of online travel agency bookings. That sounds worrisome, but in truth, the merger may not affect consumers all that much, thanks to myriad other ways to book travel. Get the full story at Condé Nast Traveler