Amex Deal Concerns Travel Leaders

Industry leaders have concerns over Amex acquisition of Rosenbluth International.

A majority of industry leaders in a recent Business Travel Coalition survey say they have concerns about the proposed acquisition of Rosenbluth International by American Express.

The acquisition, which was announced last month, would combine two of the world’s largest travel companies. The deal is subject to Justice Department review.

The coalition said it sent the results of a survey of more than 250 travel and industry executives and leaders to the U.S. assistant attorney general’s antitrust division. The coalition said it was only providing information to aid public policy decisions.

The coalition said survey respondents generally believed the acquisition, if approved, would have widespread affects including on corporate-travel pricing and service, and smaller travel agencies’ access to supplier incentive dollars and deals.

The coalition said respondents generally spoke about there being more potential anti-competitive impacts than pro-competitive ones.

And the coalition said only 32 percent of survey participants felt this transaction, if completed, would create value through increased efficiencies, competition or innovations.

About 56 percent of those surveyed believed that a larger American Express would have the means and incentive to leverage the travel side of its business with airlines and corporations for the benefit of its charge card to the potential long-term detriment of other industry participants.

The report: http:// btcweb. biz/uploads/tmc.pdf.

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