* Enterprise to stop offering car rentals on Orbitz
* Claims commissions are too high
* Orbitz says replaced Enterprise with other suppliers
CHICAGO, March 30 Enterprise Holdings, which
owns and operates several rental car companies, said on
Wednesday it will pull its content from two sites run by Orbitz
Worldwide (OWW.N), which Enterprise says demands "unacceptably
high" commission rates.
The decision comes as various travel suppliers, including
airlines, reconsider the cost they pay to third parties to list
"Their position greatly limits consumer choice and makes
renting a car less affordable," Pam Nicholson, chief operating
officer of Enterprise, said in a statement. "It is also
punitive towards rental car brands that have contributed to
Orbitz's success for many years."
Enterprise operates Alamo Rent A Car, National Car Rental,
and Enterprise Rent-A-Car brands. The company will stop listing
on Orbitz.com and Cheaptickets.com on Friday. Alamo and
National brands have been listed on Orbitz since 2001,
Orbitz, an online travel company that competes with Expedia
Inc (EXPE.O) and Priceline.com (PCLN.O), said it was unable to
reach a new deal with Enterprise after the previous contract
"Orbitz has replaced Enterprise Holdings with other
suppliers that better serve the needs of our customers," the
company said in a statement. "Moving forward, we will continue
to give customers choice among a robust selection of car rental
options -- including Hertz, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty,
Advantage and other leading suppliers -- that will fully meet
Orbitz, meanwhile, is at the center of a conflict with AMR
Corp's AMR.N American Airlines, which stopped listing its
fares on Orbitz.
Last year, Orbitz refused to use American's new direct
connect link, and American stopped selling its tickets on
Orbitz sites. American says its direct connect technology lets
shoppers choose airlines based on other offerings besides
Expedia later dropped American Airlines' tickets from its
listings, charging the airline's new commercial strategy is
"anti-consumer" and "anti-choice."
Direct connect threatens to disrupt the established model
that sends air fare information to travel agencies via global
"It's kind of a trend that we're seeing," said Morningstar
analyst Warren Miller. "Some of these travel suppliers are
really getting fed up with online travel agencies."
"If the price gets too high, then they'll pull it," Miller
Shares of Orbitz were up 0.3 percent at $3.60 on the New
York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Kyle Peterson, editing by Matthew Lewis)