No ComCom complaints as Trade Me buys Holiday Homes

Trade Me NZX performance since Dec 2011 IPO (S&P Capital IQ; click to zoom)

Trade Me has entered into an agreement to purchase the Richmond-based accommodation website Holiday Homes  for an undisclosed sum.

Holiday Homes lists holiday homes, baches, and cribs around New Zealand and the South Pacific. It also lists activities and service providers close to accommodation providers.

Trade Me CEO Jon Macdonald said he was delighted with the acquisition. “The owners of Holiday Homes, Mark and Elizabeth Greening, have had a passion for holiday home and bach accommodation all their lives. Back in 1997 they built the first version of the Holiday Homes website, and they’ve done a great job of growing a successful online business,” he said.

“Holiday Homes complements our existing portfolio of travel businesses including Travelbug, BookIt and Holiday Houses. It’s great to have Mark continue as general manager of the website, and it’s business as usual for existing Holiday Homes property owners.”

Trade Me has steadily bought up rivals in the accommodation space. 

Spokesman Paul Ford told NBR ONLINE that Trade Me's legal advice was that it did not need to seek Commerce Commission approval for the Holiday Homes purchase.

"The merger regime under the Commerce Act is voluntary. So, no, Trade Me did not need to seek Commerce Commission approval for this purchase," a Commerce Commission spokeswoman told NBR.

"Based on the information available to us, the Commission does not have a concern about this purchase."

There had been no complaints about the deal.

Trade Me [NZX:TME] closed down 1 cent to $4.08 yesterday.

Its shares have a 52-week range of $2.84 - $4.45 (see chart top of story).

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7 Comments & Questions

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Are there no anti-trust issues with this given they dominate the sector?

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Getting scary that they will have too much control. As Holiday Homes they tried to control all online bookings through their site and it was a disaster as many private owners have their own control setups. Bookabach will be next in their sights.

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If was the owner of Book-a-bach I would lodge a formal complaint with the Commerce Commission. Internal TradeMe legal advice is one thing but those Commissioners seem to have a mind of their own lately....

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No rivals (or anyone else) has complained, the Commerce Commission confirms.

See comments added to story aboved.

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No one has complained yet. I am sure they are seeking legal advice to determine if worthwhile.

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Bookabach are in bed with AA Travel. All the little fish are getting eaten up!

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I have major concerns all of these sites compete for Google position and charge customers fees for the best pagination rank. Competition is being eliminated with this deal.

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