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Is Google About to Disrupt the Travel Industry?

By Andrew Tonner - Apr 13, 2014 at 10:00AM

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From the looks of it, search giant Google is taking aim at the likes of Priceline, Expedia, and TripAdvisor with this recent move.

Search giant Google (GOOG 5.20%) (GOOGL 5.11%) typically doesn't move slowly when major money-making opportunities raise their head. However, Google appears to be creating its own delicate juggling act with the likes of Priceline.com (BKNG 5.23%)Expedia (EXPE 8.85%), and TripAdvisor (TRIP 5.57%) with a recent move.

Simply said, these aren't the kinds of companies you want angry at you.

However, Google continues to push deeper into providing hotel bookings, which could mean interesting things for Google's long history with travel-related names like Priceline, Expedia, and TripAdvisor.

Love and hate with Google's hotel business
Companies such as Priceline, Expedia, and TripAdvisor have good reason to view Google's entrance of this space with a healthy dose of anxiety.

For some time now, Google has been building out its capacity to directly facilitate hotel bookings through its Google Maps online mapping software. And especially considering Google's unique position at the forefront the of Internet, it certainly seems plausible that Google could simply cut out the likes of Priceline, Expedia, and TripAdvisor if it wanted.

Such a move could see Google tap into a market for travel and leisure that reach as high as $450 billion in revenue last year alone. However, the travel companies such as Priceline, Expedia, and TripAdvisor collectively pay Google several billion to advertise their own businesses, putting Google in the potentially awkward position of competing with its own customers as tech and telecom analyst Andrew Tonner discusses in the video below.

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Stocks Mentioned

Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
GOOGL
$2,359.50 (5.11%) $114.66
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
GOOG
$2,370.76 (5.20%) $117.07
TripAdvisor, Inc. Stock Quote
TripAdvisor, Inc.
TRIP
$19.32 (5.57%) $1.02
Booking Holdings Stock Quote
Booking Holdings
BKNG
$1,931.05 (5.23%) $95.99
Expedia, Inc. Stock Quote
Expedia, Inc.
EXPE
$102.34 (8.85%) $8.32

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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