The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition by the Spanish travel operator Orizonia Corporation (via its subsidiary Turmed) of joint control of online travel agency Rumbo ("Red Universal de Marketing y Booking Online") with Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica, S.A. The Commission further approved the integration of the travel agencies Terra Business Travel (belonging to Telefónica) and Viajar.com (belonging to Orizonia) into Rumbo. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
Orizonia is active in a wide range of tourist services, including tour operating and travel agency services via its subsidiaries Viajar.com and Viajes Iberia. Telefónica operates via Terra Business Travel both online and traditional travel agency services. In 2000, Telefónica and Amadeus IT Group S.A. founded the online travel agency Rumbo, which offers travel agency services mainly in Spain.
The proposed acquisition would combine Orizonia's and Telefónica's activities in the Spanish market for travel agency services. The Commission's investigation showed that this would not give rise to any competition concerns, given the small combined market share of the companies and the number of active competitors. Although Orizonia holds a strong position in the upstream market for tour operating services, the Commission found it would not adversely affect competition as Orizonia's relationships with travel agencies are non exclusive and there are sufficient competitors in the market. The Commission concluded that post-merger Orizonia would have no incentive to either favour its own integrated travel agencies or to increase its prices for tour operator services sold to competing travel agencies. [28 February 2008]