This article was originally published on July 2, 2014 at 11:10 pm EST
- China’s online travel agent, eLong’s (US: Long) controlling shareholder Expedia (US: EXPE) is reportedly selling its shares in eLong to Ctrip.com (US: CTRP), as reported by Techweb.
- Both eLong and Ctrip.com have declined to comment.
Why It Matters:
- Ctrip.com is China’s largest online travel agent followed by Qunar (QUNR) and eLong. However, both Ctrip.com and eLong faced fierce competition from Qunar which in turn is backed by China’s largest search engine provider, Baidu.com (BIDU). Currently Expedia holds a 65% stake in in eLong. A local article suggests that Expedia may seek to swap some of its eLong shares into Ctrip.com shares, thereby forming a strategic partnership between Ctrip.com and eLong.
- If this transaction is completed, Ctrip.com and eLong combined will hold a dominant position in China’s online travel market and thus abandon the current price war with each other.