ACCC clears Expedia to takeover Wotif

Company News

Australia’s competition regulator has cleared US online travel giant Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) to takeover online travel booking company Holdings Limited (ASX:WTF).

Expedia launched a $703 million takeover in July which was backed by Wotif’s directors but remains subject to shareholder approval and will be put to a vote on October 9. 

The green light comes just one month after The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) outlined a number of issues with the proposed takeover. 

The ACCC had highlighted concerns that the removal of Wotif as an independent competitor would allow Expedia to increase its commission rate but now says the deal is unlikely to lessen competition. 

Wotif expects the transaction to close by the end of October. 

Wotif reported a net profit of $43.2 million in the 2014 financial year.