Amoma Ceases Operations

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Amoma ceased operations on Friday and posted a note on its website that customers who have open bookings with the company would not likely see hoteliers honoring them.

Amoma was a website that undercut many headline prices that hotel companies were advertising on their websites by reselling wholesale and inventory aimed at ethnic markets.

You can access Amoma here.

Guests who booked prepaid rates sold by Amoma should seek refund from their credit card companies and make alternate bookings.

Here’s the announcement that Amoma has up on their website:

Your booking will probably be canceled by our suppliers.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Clients,

Since its creation, AMOMA has 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.

For those who have booked rooms via our website:

  • Contact the reserved hotel to inquire about the provision of the service.
  • Contact your payment institution or your travel insurance.

While we regret to have to announce the above, we send you, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Clients, our best regards.

Your reservation will probably be canceled by our suppliers.

Ladies, Gentlemen, Dear Clients,

Since its creation, AMOMA has always strived, successfully, to find the best value for money for its customers.

Entities that claim to act as “price comparators” are, in practice, media agencies that redirect consumers to entities like ours in exchange for payment for the cost of the click. These agencies are sometimes owned by companies that operate in the same segment as ours, which has a negative impact on free competition. They are in a dominant position in the market and we think that this is detrimental to the end consumers.

In fact, after having taken their place today, these entities unilaterally impose unsustainable financial conditions, because we work at the lowest possible price to benefit our clients, not to benefit these media agencies.

The result is a market concentration in which only a very small number of the main online travel agencies will be able to survive. They may also know that public authorities are opening investigation procedures against these entities, particularly in Australia, Spain, and more recently, as reported in the press, in the United States.

However, these unilateral commercial practices that are imposed on us prevent us from continuing with our activities. Therefore, we regret having to inform you of the cessation of our activities, effective immediately.

For people who have reserved rooms through our website:

  • Contact the reserved hotel to know the availability of the service.
  • Contact your payment institution or travel insurance company.

Although we regret having to inform you of the above, we send you, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Customers, our best wishes.

Amoma is partially right in the excuses they gave as to why they failed. Most of the price comparison engines are not really showing the lowest prices at all, but are all pay-for-play.

Trivago, owned by Expedia, is currently in legal trouble in Australia by not displaying the lowest prices first, but rather the most frequently paid rates (or perhaps those of their owner and its number of agencies).

Conclusion

Anyone who believes that hotels have the lowest price on their websites live in la-la land. Prices are discounted through various wholesalers with agreements that resellers would not cut the headline prices set by the hotels (likely illegal in many jurisdictions – once you sell your inventory to third parties you cannot control the price that it is eventually sold at).

It is unfortunate that one of the OTAs that often had competitive prices is now gone. I booked with them couple of times and used price comparison matches with hotel companies frequently.

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