Troubled reservations platform collapses

Global reservations platform Amoma has collapsed and has applied for bankruptcy.

Co-founded by CEO Nicolas Arthur and chief technology officer Yann Arthur, the Swiss-based site stopped selling inventory on Saturday.

The site has been long accused by travel operators of undercutting room prices by unbundling the wholesale rates in packages intended for travel agency promotions and distributing them straight to the public.

“We immediately removed Amoma from TripAdvisor’s hotel listing offers as soon as we became aware of their financial trouble,” a TripAdvisor spokesperson said.

“We sympathise with anyone affected by this and would advise any travellers with inquiries about existing Amoma bookings to get in touch with their customer support team as soon as possible.

“Prior this event, Amoma had been a long-standing partner of many online travel agencies, hotels and travel planning sites, including TripAdvisor.”

Amoma said on its website that it had “always strived, with success, to find the best value for money for its customers.”

“Entities that claim to act as ‘price comparators’ are, in effect, media agencies that redirect consumers to entities like ours against paying a cost per click.

“These media agencies are sometimes owned by companies operating in the same segment as ours, which has a negative impact on free competition.

“They are currently in a dominant position in the market and we think that this is to the detriment of the end consumers. Indeed, having taken the place that is theirs today, these entities unilaterally impose unsustainable financial conditions for us, because we work at the fair price to benefit our customers, not to benefit these media agencies.

“The result is a market concentration in which only a very small circle of majors Online Travel Agencies can survive. You probably also know that the public authorities are currently opening investigation procedures against these entities, notably in Australia, Spain – and most recently, as reported in the press, in the United States.

“However, these commercial practices that are unilaterally imposed on us make the continuation of our activities impossible. We therefore regret to have to inform you of the cessation of our activities, with immediate effect.”