Editor's Note: A previous version of this article contained incorrect information on the relationships among Avis Budget Group, Dollar Thrifty, and Hertz. 

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: It's all over but the second-guessing. This morning, Avis Budget Group (NYSE: CAR) essentially announced it's dropping out of the bidding for Dollar Thrifty (NYSE: DTG). This leaves Hertz (NYSE: HTZ) basically free to buy Dollar Thrifty at its offered $2 billion purchase price -- and has Hertz trading as much as 13% higher today on the news.

So what: This is good news for Hertz, which probably didn't want to get drawn into a longer bidding war. It's bad news for shareholders of Dollar Thrifty, though, since the lack of competitive bidding quashes any hopes that they might enjoy an even greater buyout premium.

Now what: Keep an eye on General Electric (NYSE: GE), which for some reason seems interested in the car rental game as well. Or at least, car leasing. Yesterday, rumors began floating that GE wants to buy Royal Bank of Scotland's (NYSE: RBS) car and van leasing business for an undisclosed price. If the rumor's true, and if the deal doesn't happen, GE might start hunting for alternative investments in the same industry.

Curious about further moves in the car-rental industry? Add Hertz, Dollar Thrifty, and Avis to your Watchlist and see whether this really is the end of the bidding.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own (or short) either company named above, but The Motley Fool owns shares of Hertz. Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.