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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from          to          

Commission file number: 001-35362

 

TRIPADVISOR, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

80-0743202

(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

400 1st Avenue

Needham, MA 02494

(Address of principal executive office) (Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:

(781) 800-5000

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

Trading Symbol

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common stock

TRIP

NASDAQ

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. 

 

Large accelerated filer

 

 

Accelerated filer

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

  

 

Smaller reporting company

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No  

The aggregate market value of the common stock of the registrant held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter was $4,872,586,695 based on the closing price on The NASDAQ Global Select Market on such date. For the purpose of the foregoing calculation only, all directors and executive officers of the registrant are assumed to be affiliates of the registrant.

 

Class

  

Outstanding Shares at February 12, 2020

Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share

  

123,286,835 shares

Class B common stock, $0.001 par value per share

  

12,799,999 shares

 

Documents Incorporated by Reference

The registrant intends to file a proxy statement pursuant to Regulation 14A not later than 120 days after the close of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019. Portions of such proxy statement are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

 

  

 

 

Page

PART I

 

2

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

 

2

 

 

 

Item 1A.

  

Risk Factors

 

9

 

 

 

Item 1B.

  

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

31

 

 

 

Item 2.

  

Properties

 

32

 

 

 

Item 3.

  

Legal Proceedings

 

32

 

 

 

Item 4.

  

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

32

 

 

PART II

 

32

 

 

 

Item 5.

  

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

32

 

 

 

Item 6.

  

Selected Financial Data

 

35

 

 

 

Item 7.

  

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

36

 

 

 

Item 7A.

  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

57

 

 

 

Item 8.

  

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

60

 

 

 

Item 9.

  

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

116

 

 

 

Item 9A.

  

Controls and Procedures

 

116

 

 

 

Item 9B.

  

Other Information

 

120

 

 

PART III

 

120

 

 

 

Item 10.

  

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

120

 

 

 

Item 11.

  

Executive Compensation

 

120

 

 

 

Item 12.

  

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

120

 

 

 

Item 13.

  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

120

 

 

 

Item 14.

  

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

120

 

 

PART IV

 

120

 

 

 

Item 15.

  

Exhibits; Financial Statement Schedules

 

120

Item 16.

  

Form 10-K Summary

 

123

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

124

 

 

 

 

ii


We refer to Tripadvisor, Inc. and our wholly-owned subsidiaries as “Tripadvisor,” “the Company,” “us,” “we” and “our” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The statements contained in this Annual Report that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. The following words, when used, are intended to identify forward-looking statements: “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “project,” “target,” “result,” “should,” “will,” and similar expressions which do not relate solely to historical matters. We caution investors that any forward-looking statements in this report, or which management may make orally or in writing from time to time, are based on management’s beliefs and on assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. Such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are not guarantees of future performance, which may be affected by known and unknown risks, trends, uncertainties and factors that are beyond our control. Some of the risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements are more fully described in Part I. Item 1A. "Risk Factors." Moreover, we operate in a rapidly changing environment. New risk factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all such risk factors, nor can we assess the impact of all such risk factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. We caution you that, while forward-looking statements reflect our good faith beliefs when we make them, they are not guarantees of future performance and are impacted by actual events when they occur after we make such statements. We expressly disclaim any responsibility to update our forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Investors should also refer to our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for future periods and current reports on Form 8-K as we file them with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, and to other materials we may furnish to the public from time to time through Current Reports on Form 8-K or otherwise.

 

 

 

 

1


 

PART I

 

Item 1.

Business

Overview

Tripadvisor, Inc. (“Tripadvisor”, “the Company”, “we”, or “us”) is a leading online travel company and our mission is to help people around the world plan, book and experience the perfect trip. We operate a global travel platform that connects the world’s largest audience of prospective travelers with travel partners through rich content, price comparison tools, and online reservation and related services for destinations, accommodations, travel activities and experiences, and restaurants.

Under our flagship brand, Tripadvisor, we launched www.Tripadvisor.com in the United States in 2000. Since then, we have launched localized versions of the Tripadvisor website in 48 markets and 28 languages worldwide. Tripadvisor features 859 million reviews and opinions on 8.6 million places to stay, places to eat and things to do – including 1.4 million hotels, inns, B&Bs and specialty lodging, 842,000 rental properties, 5.2 million restaurants and 1.2 million travel activities and experiences worldwide. Tripadvisor’s rich content and engaged community attract the world’s largest travel audience, based on monthly unique visitors, including 463 million average monthly unique visitors in the third quarter of 2019 during the peak summer travel season.

In addition to the flagship Tripadvisor brand, we own and operate a portfolio of travel media brands and businesses, operating under various websites, including the following: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bokun.io, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com, www.restorando.com, and www.bookatable.co.uk), www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.housetrip.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.singleplatform.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, and www.viator.com.

Our Industry and Market Opportunity

We operate in the global travel industry, focusing exclusively on online travel and travel-related activity, and the online advertising market.

According to Phocuswright, an independent travel, tourism and hospitality research firm, the annual global travel market represents $1.7 trillion in sales and is increasingly shifting online. As consumer online travel media consumption and online travel commerce activity increases, we believe travel and travel-related businesses will continue to allocate greater percentages of their marketing budgets to online channels in order to grow their businesses. We believe this creates a significant long-term growth opportunity for our business.

Our Business Model

Our businesses match demand, or consumers that seek to discover, research, price compare and book the best travel experiences online, with supply from travel partners around the world that provide travel accommodations and experiences.

Consumer Offerings

Tripadvisor enables consumers to plan, book and experience the perfect trip by providing content, supply, price, and convenience. Content and supply has enabled Tripadvisor to become a well-known global brand, one that has attracted the world’s largest travel audience, based on average monthly unique visitors, and influences a significant amount of travel commerce. We are focused on creating the best online experience in travel planning and booking, making it easier for consumers to research destinations and experiences, read and contribute user-generated content, compare destinations and businesses based on quality, price and availability, and complete bookings powered by our travel partners.

 

2


 

Travel Partners

Our portfolio of travel-related websites enables our travel partners to be discovered, to advertise and to sell their services to a global travel audience. Travel partners may include hotel chains, independent hoteliers, online travel agencies, or OTAs, destination marketing organizations, and other travel-related and non-travel related product and service providers—that seek to market and sell their products and services to a global audience. We enable media advertising opportunities – and in some cases, facilitate transactions between consumers and travel partners in a number of ways, including by sending referrals to our travel partners’ websites, facilitating bookings on behalf of our travel partners, or by serving as the merchant of record – particularly in our Experiences and Rentals offerings – and by offering advertising placements on our websites and mobile apps.

Segments and Products

We manage our business based on the following reportable segments: (1) Hotels, Media & Platform and (2) Experiences & Dining.

The Hotels, Media & Platform segment includes revenue generated from the following sources:

 

Tripadvisor-branded Hotels Revenue. Our largest source of Hotels, Media & Platform segment revenue is generated from click-based advertising on Tripadvisor-branded websites, which is primarily comprised of contextually-relevant booking links to our travel partners’ websites. Our click-based travel partners are predominantly OTAs and direct suppliers in the hotel category. Click-based advertising is generally priced on a cost-per-click, or “CPC”, basis, with payments from travel partners determined by the number of travelers who click on a link multiplied by the CPC rate for each specific click. CPC rates are determined in a dynamic, competitive auction process, also known as our hotel metasearch auction, where our travel partner CPC bids for rates and availability to be listed on our site are submitted. We also offer subscription-based advertising to hotel partners, owners of B&Bs and other specialty lodging properties, enabling subscribers to advertise their businesses on our websites, as well as manage and promote their website URL, email address, phone number, special offers and other information related to their business. Subscription-based advertising services are predominantly sold for a flat fee for a contracted period of time of one year or less. We also offer travel partners the opportunity to advertise and promote their business through hotel sponsored placements on our websites. This service is generally priced on a CPC basis, with payments from travel partners determined by the number of travelers who click on the sponsored link multiplied by the CPC rate for each specific click. CPC rates for hotel sponsored placements that our travel partners pay are based on a pre-determined contractual rate. In addition, transaction revenue is generated from our hotel instant booking feature, which enables hotel shoppers to book directly with a travel partner, with the latter serving as the merchant of record for the transaction, without leaving our website. We earn a commission from our travel partners for each traveler that completes a hotel reservation on our website based on a pre-determined contractual commission rate.

 

Tripadvisor-branded Display and Platform Revenue. We offer travel partners the ability to promote their brands in a contextually-relevant manner through a variety of display-based advertising placements on our websites. Our display-based advertising clients are predominantly direct suppliers of hotels, air travel and cruises, as well as destination marketing organizations. Other display advertising partners include OTAs and other travel-related businesses, as well as advertisers from non-travel categories. Display-based advertising is sold predominantly on a cost per thousand impressions, or CPM, basis.

The Experiences & Dining segment includes revenue generated from the following sources:

 

Experiences. We provide information and services that allow consumers to research and book activities and attractions in popular travel destinations both through Viator, our dedicated Experiences offering, and on our Tripadvisor website and mobile apps. We also power travel activities and experiences booking capabilities to consumers on affiliate partner websites, including some of the world’s top airlines, hotel chains, and online and offline travel agencies. We work with local tour or travel

 

3


 

 

activities/experiences operators (“the supplier”) to provide consumers the ability to book tours, activities and experiences (“the activity”) in popular destinations worldwide. We generate commissions for each booking transaction we facilitate through our online reservation system. To a lesser extent, we earn commissions from affiliate partners, or third-party merchant partners who display and promote on their websites the supplier activities available on our platform to generate bookings.

 

Dining. We provide information and services for consumers to research and book restaurants in popular travel destinations through our dedicated restaurant reservations offering, TheFork, and on our Tripadvisor-branded websites and mobile apps. TheFork is an online restaurant booking platform operating on a number of websites (including www.thefork.com, www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com, www.restorando.com and www.bookatable.co.uk), with a network of restaurant partners located primarily across the United Kingdom (the “U.K.”), Europe, Australia, and South America. We primarily generate transaction fees (or per seated diner fees) that are paid by restaurants for diners seated primarily from bookings through TheFork’s online reservation system. To a lesser extent, we also generate subscription fees for subscription-based advertising to restaurants, access to certain online reservation management services, marketing analytic tools, and menu syndication services provided by TheFork and Tripadvisor. In addition, we also offer restaurant partners the opportunity to advertise and promote their business through restaurant media advertising placements on our website. This service is generally priced on a CPC basis, with payments from restaurant partners determined by the number of users who click on the sponsored link multiplied by the CPC rate for each specific click. CPC rates for media advertising placements that our restaurant partners pay are based on a pre-determined contractual rate.

Other is a combination of our Rentals, Flights/Cruises/Car, SmarterTravel, and Tripadvisor China business units and is not considered a reportable segment. Other includes revenue generated from the following sources:

 

Our Rentals offering provides information and services that allow travelers to research and book vacation and short-term rental properties, including full homes, condominiums, villas, beach properties, cabins and cottages. Rentals generates revenue primarily by offering individual property owners and managers the ability to list their properties on our websites and mobile apps thereby connecting with travelers through a free-to-list, commission-based option or, to a lesser extent, by an annual subscription-based fee structure. These properties are listed on www.flipkey.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.housetrip.com, www.niumba.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, and on our Tripadvisor-branded websites and mobile apps. In addition, Other also includes revenue generated from flights, cruise, and car offerings on Tripadvisor, as well as revenue from non-Tripadvisor-branded websites not otherwise described above, such as www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.onetime.com and www.smartertravel.com, and Tripadvisor China, which primarily includes click-based advertising and display-based advertising revenue.

For further information regarding our segments, including a change in reportable segments during 2019, financial information, and the principal revenue streams within these segments, refer to “Note 1: Organization and Business Description” and “Note 18: Segment and Geographic Information” in the notes to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 on this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  

Seasonality

Consumers’ travel expenditures follow a seasonal pattern. Correspondingly, travel partners’ advertising investments and, therefore, our revenue and profits, also follow a seasonal pattern. Our financial performance tends to be seasonally highest in the second and third quarters of a given year, which includes the seasonal peak in consumer demand, traveler hotel and rental stays, and travel activities and experiences taken, compared to the first and fourth quarters, which represent seasonal low points. Significant shifts in our business mix or adverse economic conditions could result in future seasonal patterns that are different from historical trends.

Our Growth Strategy

Phocuswright, an independent travel, tourism and hospitality research firm, estimates the annual global travel market (not including dining) at $1.7 trillion of bookings and we believe that Tripadvisor’s influence in the travel

 

4


 

ecosystem remains significant. Our growth strategy aims to increase revenue by deepening customer engagement on our platform by pursuing the following key strategies, including:

 

continue building products that reduce friction throughout the travel planning and trip-taking journey and delight travelers;

 

deepen consumer engagement with our platform (including, but not limited to, membership growth, mobile app engagement and overall repeat usage);

 

invest in technology to further improve our customer and supplier experiences;

 

deepen travel partner engagement with our platform by expanding the number of products and services we offer;

 

invest in and grow certain categories where we lead the broader travel market today and/or can leverage unique assets, such as hotel business to business (“B2B”) services, media advertising, experiences and restaurants;

 

leverage our technological and operational efficiencies; and

 

opportunistically pursue strategic acquisitions.

Marketing and Competition

We compete with other companies in attractive, rapidly evolving categories of the travel industry. In these areas, we compete for content, traffic, advertising dollars and, more generally, to attract and retain our users’ attention, both in terms of reach and engagement. Since our products and those of our competitors are typically free, we compete based on our brand, the quality and nature of our product offerings and our online travel search and price comparison services (or metasearch), rather than on price. As such, we invest heavily in constantly improving our user experience and expanding content, listings and bookable inventory.

We also invest to amplify our global brand and raise consumer awareness of, and engagement with, our end-to-end product offerings. We leverage a number of online and offline marketing channels, including online search engines (primarily Google), social media, email and brand advertising (primarily television advertising). The relative success of our marketing strategy is more measurable on some of these channels than others, and can be influenced by changes that we, our travel partners, or our competitors make to our respective products and marketing strategies. During 2019, our total advertising expense was approximately $423 million, primarily driven by investments in online search engines, and to a lesser extent, investments in offline marketing channels, which was primarily television advertising. We intend to continue to promote brand awareness through both online and offline advertising efforts. We compete globally with both online and offline, established and emerging, providers of travel, lodging, experiences and restaurant reservation and related services. The markets for the services we offer are intensely competitive, and current and new competitors can launch new services at a relatively low cost.

We also compete with different types of companies in the various markets and geographies where we operate, including large and small companies in the travel space as well as broader service providers. More specifically:

 

In our Hotels, Media & Platform segment, we compete, and in some cases partner, with the following businesses:

 

o

OTAs (including Expedia Group, Inc., or “Expedia”, Booking Holdings, Inc., or “Booking”, Trip.com Group Limited (formerly known as Ctrip.com International, Ltd) and their respective subsidiaries and operating companies);

 

o

hotel metasearch providers (including Google, trivago (a subsidiary of Expedia), Kayak and HotelsCombined (subsidiaries of Booking));

 

o

large online search, social media, and marketplace platforms and companies (including Google, Facebook, Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Alibaba, and Amazon);

 

o

traditional offline travel agencies; and

 

5


 

 

o

global hotel chains seeking to promote direct bookings.

 

We also compete with offerings in our Experiences & Dining segment. Experiences competes with online travel agencies, such as Airbnb, Booking, GetYourGuide and Klook; traditional travel agencies; online travel service providers; and wholesalers, among others.  Dining competes with other online restaurant reservation services, such as SeatMe (owned by Yelp) and OpenTable (a subsidiary of Booking).

Commercial Relationships

We have a number of commercial relationships that are important to the success of our business. Although these relationships are memorialized in agreements, many of these agreements are for limited terms or are terminable at will or on short notice. As a result, we seek to ensure the mutual success of these relationships.

We have commercial relationships with a majority of the world’s leading OTAs, as well as thousands of other travel partners, pursuant to which these companies primarily purchase traveler leads from us, generally on a click-based advertising basis. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 our two most significant travel partners were Expedia Group, Inc. and Booking Holdings, Inc., which each accounted for more than 10% of our consolidated revenue and together accounted for approximately 33%, 37% and 43% of our consolidated revenue, respectively. Nearly all of this concentration of revenue is recorded in the Tripadvisor-branded Hotels revenue line within our Hotels, Media & Platform segment for these reporting periods.

Operations and Technology

We have assembled a team of highly skilled software engineers, computer scientists, data scientists, network engineers and systems engineers whose expertise spans a broad range of technical areas, including a wide variety of open source operating systems, databases, languages, analytics, networking, scalable web architecture, operations and warehousing technologies. We make significant investments in product and feature development, data management, personalization technologies, scalable infrastructures, networking, data warehousing, and search engine technologies.

Our systems infrastructure for Tripadvisor-branded websites is housed at two geographically separate facilities and hosted by Amazon Web Services. Our infrastructure installations have multiple communication links as well as continuous monitoring and engineering support. Each facility is fully self-sufficient and operational with its own hardware, networking, software and content, and is structured in an active/passive, fully redundant configuration. Substantially all of our software components, data, and content are replicated in multiple datacenters and development centers, as well as backed up at offsite locations. Our systems are monitored and protected though multiple layers of security. Several of our individual subsidiaries and businesses have their own data infrastructure and technology teams.

Intellectual Property

Our intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, domain names, trade dress, proprietary technology and trade secrets, is an important component of our business. We rely on our intellectual property rights in our content, proprietary technology, software code, ratings indexes, databases of reviews and forum content. We have acquired some of our intellectual property rights through licenses and content agreements with third parties and these arrangements may place restrictions on the use of our intellectual property.

We protect our intellectual property by relying on our terms of use, confidentiality agreements and contractual provisions, as well as on international, national, federal, state and common law rights. We protect our brands by pursuing the trademark registration of our core brands, as appropriate, maintaining our trademark portfolio, securing contractual trademark rights protection when appropriate, and relying on common law trademark rights when appropriate. We also register copyrights and domain names as deemed appropriate. Additionally, we protect our trademarks, domain names and copyrights with the use of intellectual property licenses and an enforcement program.

 

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We have considered, and will continue to consider, the appropriateness of filing for patents to protect future inventions, as circumstances may warrant. However, many patents protect only specific inventions and there can be no assurance that others may not create new products or methods that achieve similar results without infringing upon patents owned by us.

In connection with our copyrightable content, we post and institute procedures under the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act and similar “host privilege” statutes worldwide to gain immunity from copyright liability for photographs, text and other content loaded on our sites by users.  However, differences between statutes, limitations on immunity, and moderation efforts in the many jurisdictions in which we operate may affect our ability to claim immunity.  

From time to time, we may be subject to legal proceedings and claims in the ordinary course of our business, including claims of alleged infringement by us of the trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property rights of third parties.  In addition, litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights, protect our trade secrets or determine the validity and scope of proprietary rights claimed by others.  Any such litigation, regardless of outcome or merit, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management and technical resources, any of which could materially harm our business.  

Regulation

We are subject to a number of laws and regulations that affect companies conducting business on the internet and relating to the travel industry, the vacation rental industry and the provision of travel services.  As we continue to expand the reach of our brands into additional international markets, we are increasingly subject to additional laws and regulations.  This includes laws and regulations regarding, among other matters, consumer privacy, libel, rights of publicity, data protection, content, intellectual property, distribution, electronic contracts and other communications, consumer protection, taxation, online payment services, competition and protection of minors. These laws and regulations are constantly evolving and can be subject to significant change. Many of these laws and regulations are being tested in courts, and could be interpreted by regulators and courts in ways that could harm our business. In addition, the application and interpretation of these laws and regulations is often uncertain, particularly in the new and rapidly-evolving industry in which we operate.

In addition, we provide advertising data and information and conduct marketing activities that are subject to consumer protection laws that regulate unfair and deceptive practices, domestically and internationally, including, in some countries, pricing display requirements, licensing and registration requirements and industry specific value-added tax regimes. The United States (as well as individual states), the European Union (as well as member states) and other countries have adopted legislation that regulates certain aspects of the internet, including online editorial and user-generated content, data privacy, behavioral targeting and online advertising, taxation, and liability for third-party activities. It is difficult to accurately predict how such legislation will be interpreted and applied or whether new taxes or regulations will be imposed on our services, and whether or how we might be affected. Increased regulation of the internet could increase the cost of doing business or otherwise materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or operating results.

We are subject to laws that require protection of user privacy and user data.  As our business has evolved, we have begun to receive and store a greater volume of personally identifiable data.  This data is increasingly subject to laws and regulations in numerous jurisdictions around the world.  For example, the European Union, in May 2018, adopted the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which requires companies, including ours, to meet enhanced requirements regarding the handling of personal data. In addition, the State of California adopted the Consumer Privacy Protection Act which became effective January 1, 2020 and also enhances privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California.  In addition, similar laws have been adopted or are currently under discussion in other jurisdictions. The enactment, interpretation and application of these laws is still in a state of flux.  

 

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Also, on June 23, 2016, the U.K. passed a referendum to exit the European Union, known as Brexit, and the U.K. ceased to be a member of the EU on January 31, 2020The EU and U.K. will continue to work on the terms of the departure through a transition period ending December 31, 2020.  Since the final terms of the U.K.’s exit from the European Union remain uncertain, we are unable to predict the effect Brexit will have on our business and results of operations; however, we will likely face new regulatory costs and challenges if the U.K. regulations diverge from those of the European Union

Corporate History, Equity Ownership and Voting Control

Tripadvisor was co-founded in February 2000 by Stephen Kaufer, our current Chief Executive Officer and President. In April 2004, Tripadvisor was acquired by IAC/InterActiveCorp, or IAC. In August 2005, IAC spun-off its portfolio of travel brands, including Tripadvisor, into Expedia, at the time a separate newly-formed Delaware corporation. On December 20, 2011 Expedia completed a spin-off of Tripadvisor into a separate publicly-traded Delaware corporation. We refer to this second spin-off transaction as the “Spin-Off.” Following the Spin-Off, on December 21, 2011, Tripadvisor began trading on The NASDAQ Global Select Market, or NASDAQ, as an independent public company under the trading symbol “TRIP.”

On December 11, 2012, Liberty Interactive Corporation, or Liberty, purchased an aggregate of approximately 4.8 million shares of common stock of Tripadvisor from Barry Diller, our former Chairman of the Board of Directors and Senior Executive, and certain of his affiliates. As a result, Liberty beneficially owned approximately 18.2 million shares of our common stock and 12.8 million shares of our Class B common stock.

On August 27, 2014, the entire beneficial ownership of our common stock and Class B common stock held by Liberty was acquired by Liberty Tripadvisor Holdings, Inc., or LTRIP. Simultaneously, Liberty, LTRIP’s former parent company, distributed, by means of a dividend, to the holders of its Liberty Ventures common stock, Liberty’s entire equity interest in LTRIP. We refer to this transaction as the “Liberty Spin-Off”. As a result of the Liberty Spin-Off, effective August 27, 2014, LTRIP became a separate, publicly traded company holding 100% of Liberty’s interest in Tripadvisor. 

As a result of these transactions, as of December 31, 2019, LTRIP beneficially owned approximately 18.2 million shares of our common stock and 12.8 million shares of our Class B common stock, which constitute 14.6% of the outstanding shares of common stock and 100% of the outstanding shares of Class B common stock. Assuming the conversion of all of LTRIP’s shares of Class B common stock into common stock, LTRIP would beneficially own 22.5% of the outstanding common stock. Because each share of Class B common stock is entitled to ten votes per share and each share of common stock is entitled to one vote per share, LTRIP may be deemed to beneficially own equity securities representing 57.9% of our voting power.

Employees

As of December 31, 2019, we had 4,194 employees. Of these employees, 45% were based in the United States. We believe we have good relationships with our employees, including relationships with employees represented by international works councils or other similar organizations.  

Additional Information

We maintain a corporate website at ir.tripadvisor.com. Except as explicitly noted, the information on our website, as well as the websites of our various brands and businesses, is not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, or in any other filings with, or in any information furnished or submitted to, the SEC.

On our Investor Relations website (http://ir.tripadvisor.com/investor-relations), we provide our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to these reports free of charge.  These reports are available on our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file or furnish these reports to the SEC or publish through press releases, public conference calls and certain webcasts. All documents filed electronically with the SEC (including reports, proxy and information statements and other information) are also available at www.sec.gov. Investors and others should be aware that we

 

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use our investor relations website (http://ir.tripadvisor.com/investor-relations) to announce material financial information to our investors as well as communicate with the public about our company, our results of operations and other information. 

We post our code of business conduct and ethics, which applies to all employees, including all executive officers, senior financial officers and directors, on our corporate website at www.tripadvisor.com. We intend to disclose any waivers of the code of ethics for our executive officers, senior financial officers or directors, on our corporate website.

 

 

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

You should consider carefully the risks described below together with all of the other information included in this Annual Report as they may impact our business, results of operations and/or financial condition. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe are immaterial may also impair our business, results of operations or financial condition. If any of the following risks occur, our business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows could be materially adversely affected.

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

If we are unable to continue to attract a significant amount of visitors to our websites and mobile apps, to cost-effectively convert these visitors into revenue-generating users and to continue to engage our users, our revenue, financial results and business could be harmed.

Our long-term success depends on our continued ability to attract a significant number of visitors to our platforms in a cost-effective manner, to convert those visitors into consumers and then to continue to engage those consumers throughout the travel planning, booking and trip-taking phases. Our traffic and user engagement could be adversely affected by a number of factors, including but not limited to, increased competition; inability to provide quality content, inventory or supply to our consumers; declines or inefficiencies in traffic acquisition; reduced awareness of our brands; and macroeconomic conditions. Certain of our competitors have advertising campaigns expressly designed to drive traffic directly to their websites, and these campaigns may negatively impact traffic to our site. Our traffic growth could decline over time and our success could become increasingly dependent on our ability to increase levels of user engagement on our platform. There can be no assurances that we will continue to provide content and products in a manner that meets rapidly changing demand. Any failure to obtain and manage content and products in a cost-effective manner that will engage users, or any failure to provide content and products that are perceived as useful, reliable and trustworthy, could adversely affect user experiences and their repeat behavior, reduce traffic to our websites and negatively impact our business and financial performance.

We rely on internet search engines and application marketplaces to drive traffic to our platform, certain providers of which offer products and services that compete directly with our products.  If links to our websites and apps are not displayed prominently, traffic to our platform could decline and our business would be negatively affected.  

We rely heavily on internet search engines to generate a significant amount of traffic to our websites, principally through SEM (i.e., the purchase of travel-related keywords) as well as through SEO (i.e., free, or organic, search). The number of consumers we attract from search engines to our platform is due in large part to how and where information from, and links to, our websites are displayed on search engine results pages, or SERPs. The display, including rankings, of search results can be affected by a number of factors, many of which are not in our control and may change frequently. Search engines frequently update and change the logic that determines the placement and display of the results of a user’s search, such that the purchased or algorithmic placement of links to our websites can be negatively affected. In addition, a search engine could, for competitive or other purposes, alter its search algorithms or results causing our websites to place lower in search query results. If a major search engine changes its algorithms in a manner that negatively affects the search engine ranking of our websites or those of our travel partners, or if competitive dynamics impact the cost or effectiveness of SEO or SEM in a negative manner,

 

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our business and financial performance would be adversely affected. Furthermore, our failure to successfully manage our SEO and SEM strategies and/or other traffic acquisition strategies could result in a substantial decrease in traffic to our websites, as well as increased costs to the extent we replace free traffic with paid traffic.

In some instances, search and metasearch companies and application marketplaces may change their displays or rankings in order to promote their own competing products or services or the products or services of one or more of our competitors. For example, Google, a significant source of traffic to our website accounting for a substantial portion of the visits to our websites, frequently promotes its own competing products in its web search results, which has negatively impacted placement of references to our company and our website on the SERP. Google’s promotion of its own competing products, or similar actions by Google in the future that have the effect of reducing our prominence or ranking on its search results, could have a substantial negative effect on our business and results of operations.

We also rely on application marketplaces, or app stores such as Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play, to drive downloads of our applications. In the future, Apple, Google or other marketplace operators may make changes to their marketplaces that make access to our products more difficult. For example, Google has entered various aspects of the online travel market, including by establishing a flight metasearch product and hotel metasearch product as well as reservation functionality. Our applications may receive unfavorable treatment compared to the promotion and placement of competing applications, such as the order in which they appear within marketplaces. Similarly, if problems arise in our relationships with providers of application marketplaces, traffic to our site and our user growth could be harmed.

We derive a substantial portion of our revenue from advertising and any significant reduction in spending by advertisers or redirections of advertising spend could harm our business.

We derive a substantial portion of our revenue from the sale of advertising, primarily through click-based advertising and, to a lesser extent, display-based and subscription-based advertising. We enter into advertising contracts with our advertising partners; however, the agreement terms are generally limited to legal matters, with campaign details and economics governed by insertion orders, and most of these contracts can be terminated by our partners at will or on short notice. Our ability to grow advertising revenue with our existing or new advertising partners is dependent in large part on our ability to generate revenue for them relative to other alternatives. Advertisers will not continue to do business with us if their investment in such advertising does not generate sales leads, customers, bookings, or revenue and profit on a cost-effective basis. Our ability to provide value to our advertising partners depends on a number of factors, including effectiveness of online advertising, competitiveness of our products, traffic quality, perception of our platform, availability and accuracy of analytics and measurement solutions to demonstrate our value, and macroeconomic conditions, whether in the advertising industry generally, among specific types of marketers or within particular geographies. We cannot guarantee that our current advertisers will fulfill their obligations under existing contracts, continue to advertise beyond the terms of existing contracts or enter into any additional contracts with us.

In addition, advertising revenue could be impacted by a number of other factors, including, but not limited to, the following:

 

Our inability to increase or maintain user engagement;

 

Our inability to increase or maintain the quantity and quality of ads shown to consumers, including as a result of technical infrastructure constraints;

 

The development of technologies that can block the display of our ads or block our ad measurement tools, particularly for advertising displayed on tablets and/or on mobile platforms;

 

The effectiveness of our ad targeting or degree to which consumers opt out of certain types of ad targeting;

 

Adverse government actions or legal developments relating to advertising, including legislative and regulatory developments and developments in litigation that limit our ability to deliver or target advertising; and

 

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The impact of macroeconomic conditions, whether in the advertising industry in general or among special types of marketers or within particular geographies.

The occurrence of any of these or other factors could result in a reduction in demand for our ads, which may reduce the prices we receive for our ads, or cause marketers to stop advertising with us altogether, either of which would negatively affect our revenue and financial results.

Click-based advertising revenue accounts for the majority of our advertising revenue. Our CPC pricing for click-based advertising depends, in part, on competition between advertisers. If our large advertisers become less competitive with each other, merge with each other or with our competitors, focus more on per-click profit than on traffic volume, or are able to reduce CPCs, this could have an adverse impact on our click-based advertising revenue which would, in turn, have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We rely on a relatively small number of significant advertising partners and any reduction in spending by or loss of these partners could seriously harm our business.

We derive a substantial portion of our revenue from a relatively small number of advertising partners and rely significantly on our relationships. For example, for the year ended December 31, 2019, our two most significant advertising partners, Expedia and Booking (and their subsidiaries), accounted for a combined 33% of total revenue. While we enter into master advertising contracts with our partners, as discussed above, most of these contracts can be terminated by our partners at will or on short notice. If any of our significant advertisers were to cease or significantly curtail advertising on our websites, we could experience a rapid decline in our revenue over a relatively short period of time which would have a material impact on our business.

Our business depends on a strong brand and any failure to maintain, protect and enhance our brand could hurt our ability to retain and expand our base of consumers and partners, as well as increase the frequency with which consumers utilize our products and services.  

We believe that the strength of our brands (particularly the Tripadvisor brand) has contributed significantly to our success.  We also believe that maintaining, protecting and enhancing our brands is critical to expanding our base of consumers, increasing the frequency with which consumers utilize our solutions and attracting advertisers and business partners. Our ability to maintain and protect our brand depends, in part, on our ability to maintain consumer trust in our products and in the quality, integrity, reliability of usefulness of the content and other information found on our platform. For example, if consumers do not view our reviews to be useful and reliable, they may seek other sources to obtain the information they are looking for and may not return to our platform as often in the future, or at all. This would negatively impact our ability to attract and retain consumers and partners and the frequency with which they use our platform. We dedicate significant resources to these goals, primarily through our computer algorithms and teams of moderators that are focused on identifying inappropriate, unreliable or deceptive content.  We remove those types of content from our website and, in certain cases, take legal action against individuals or businesses that we believe have engaged in deceptive practices.  

Media, legislative, or regulatory scrutiny of our decisions regarding user privacy, content, advertising, and other issues may adversely affect our reputation and brands. Negative publicity about our company, including our content, technology, business practices or strategic plans, could diminish our reputation and confidence in our brand, thereby negatively affecting the use of our products and potentially even our share price. For example, certain media outlets have alleged that we have improperly filtered or screened reviews, that we have not properly verified reviews, or that we manipulate reviews, ranking and ratings in favor of our advertisers against non-advertisers. We expend significant resources to ensure the integrity of our reviews and to ensure that the most relevant reviews are available to our consumers; we do not establish rankings and ratings in favor of our advertisers.  Nevertheless, our reputation and brand, the traffic to our platform, our business and potentially even our share price may suffer from negative publicity about our company or if consumers otherwise perceive that our content is manipulated or biased.  In addition, regulatory inquiries or investigations require management time and attention and could result in further negative publicity, regardless of their merits or ultimate outcomes.  

 

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In addition, unfavorable publicity regarding, for example, our practices relating to privacy and data protection, product changes, competitive pressures, litigation or regulatory activity could adversely affect our reputation with our consumers and our partners. Such negative publicity also could have an adverse effect on the size, engagement, and loyalty of our user base and result in decreased revenue.

We continue to invest significant time and effort towards educating users about our brand and our product offerings and there can be no assurances that these efforts will continue to be successful.

In an effort to enhance our brand we invest significantly in brand marketing including, but not limited to, television advertising. We expect these investments to continue, and potentially even increase, as a result of a variety of factors, including relatively high levels of advertising spending by competitors, the increasing costs of supporting multiple brands, expansion into new geographies, product positioning where our brands are less well known, and the continued emergence and relative traffic share growth of search engines as destination sites for travelers. We expect to continue our television advertising campaign and to adjust our marketing efforts and spend among the different marketing channels, in each case as we think appropriate based on the relative growth opportunity, the expected returns and the competitive environment in the different segments and businesses in which we operate.

Such efforts may not maintain or enhance consumer awareness of our brands and, even if we are successful in our branding efforts, such efforts may not be cost-effective or as efficient as they have been historically. If we are unable to maintain or enhance consumer awareness of our brands or to generate demand in a cost-effective manner, it would have a material adverse effect on our business and financial performance. In addition, there are no assurances that these actions will have a positive impact on our marketing efficiencies or operating margins or when the financial benefit expected to result from these efforts will exceed the costs of such efforts.  Furthermore, some of our current and potential competitors have access to significantly greater and more diverse resources than we do, and they may also be able to leverage other aspects of their businesses to enable them to compete more effectively with us.

 

Consumer adoption and use of mobile devices creates new challenges.  If we are unable to operate effectively on these platforms or our products for such devices are not compelling, our business may be adversely affected.  

 

Widespread adoption of mobile devices, such as the iPhone, Android-enabled smartphones and tablets such as the iPad, coupled with web browsing functionality and development of thousands of useful apps available on these devices, is driving substantial online traffic and commerce to mobile platforms.  We have experienced a significant shift of business to mobile platforms and our advertising partners are also experiencing a rapid shift of traffic to mobile platforms.  We anticipate that the rate of use of these devices will continue to grow. The functionality and user experience associated with these alternative devices, such as a smaller screen size or lack of a screen, may make the use of our platform through such devices more difficult.  Our websites and apps, when utilized on mobile phone devices, monetize at a significantly lower rate than desktops and advertising opportunities are more limited on these mobile devices.  Additionally, consumer purchasing patterns differ on alternative devices.  For example, accommodation reservations made on a mobile device typically are for shorter lengths of stay and are not made as far in advance.  Mobile consumers may also be unwilling to download multiple apps from multiple companies providing similar services or contribute high quality content through such devices.  As a result, the consumer experience with mobile apps and brand recognition are likely to become increasingly important.  We expect that the ways in which consumers engage with our platform will continue to change over time as consumers increasingly engage via alternative devices. 

 

It is increasingly important for us to develop and maintain effective platforms to drive adoption and user engagement by providing consumers with an appealing, easy-to-use experience. As new devices and platforms are continually being released, it is difficult to predict the problems we may encounter in adapting our products and services to them – and developing competitive new products and services - and we may need to devote significant resources to the creation, support and maintenance of such products. If we are unable to continue to rapidly innovate and create new, user-friendly and differentiated offerings and efficiently and effectively advertise and distribute on these platforms, or if our offerings are not used by consumers, we could lose market share and our business, future growth and results of operations could be adversely affected.  

 

 

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Our success will also depend on the interoperability of our products with a range of technologies, systems, networks and standards or in creating, maintaining and developing relationships with key participants in related industries, some of which may be our competitors.  For example, Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone are the leading smartphones in the world; therefore, our products need to synergistically function on their respective operating systems in order to create a positive user experience on a mobile device. However, Google could leverage its Android operating system to give its travel services a competitive advantage, either technically or with prominence on its Google Play app store or within its mobile search results. Similarly, Apple obtained a patent for “iTravel,” a mobile app that would allow a traveler to check in for a travel reservation. In addition, Apple’s iPhone operating system includes “Wallet,” a virtual wallet app that holds tickets, boarding passes, coupons and gift cards, and, along with iTravel, may be indicative of Apple’s intent to enter the travel reservations business in some capacity. Apple has substantial market share in the smartphone category and controls integration of offerings, including travel services, into its mobile operating system. Apple also has more experience producing and developing mobile apps and has access to greater resources than we do. Apple may use or expand iTravel, Wallet, Siri (Apple’s voice recognition “concierge” service), Apple Pay (Apple’s mobile payment system) or another mobile app or functionality as a means of entering the travel reservations marketplace. To the extent Google or Apple use their mobile operating systems, app distribution channels or, in the case of Google, search services, to favor their own travel service offerings, there may be an adverse effect on our ability to compete in the mobile space.

 

We may not be successful in developing products that operate effectively with these technologies, systems, networks and standards or in creating, maintaining and developing relationships with key participants in related industries.  If we experience difficulties or increased costs in integrating our products into alternative devices, or if manufacturers elect not to include our products in their devices, make changes that degrade the functionality of our products, give preferential treatment to competitive products or prevent us from delivering advertising, our user growth and results of operations may be harmed.  This risk may be exacerbated by the frequency with which consumers change or upgrade their devices.  In the event consumers choose devices that do not already include or support our platform or do not install our products when they change or upgrade their devices, our traffic and user engagement may be harmed.

 

In addition, the market for advertising products on mobile and other devices is rapidly evolving. As new devices and platforms are released, consumers may begin consuming content in a manner that is more difficult to monetize. Similarly, as advertising products for mobile and other platforms develop, demand may increase for products that we do not offer or that may alienate our user base, which we must balance against our commitment to prioritizing the quality of user experience over short-term monetization. If we are not able to balance these competing considerations successfully to develop compelling advertising products, advertisers may stop or reduce their advertising with us and we may not be able to generate meaningful revenue from alternative devices despite the expected growth in their usage.

Declines or disruptions in the economy in general and travel industry, in particular, could adversely affect our businesses and financial performance.

Our businesses and financial performance are affected by the health of the global economy generally as well as the travel industry and leisure travel in particular. Sales of travel services tend to decline or grow more slowly during economic downturns and recessions when consumers engage in less discretionary spending, are concerned about unemployment or economic weakness, have reduced access to credit or experience other concerns that reduce their ability or willingness to travel. The global economy may be adversely impacted by unforeseen events beyond our control including incidents of actual or threatened terrorism, regional hostilities or instability, unusual weather patterns, natural disasters, political instability and health concerns (including epidemics or pandemics), defaults on government debt, significant increases in fuel and energy costs, tax increases and other matters that could reduce discretionary spending, tightening of credit markets and declines in consumer confidence. Decreased travel spending could reduce the demand for our services and have a negative impact on our business and financial performance. In addition, the uncertainty of macro-economic factors and their impact on consumer behavior, which may differ across regions, makes it more difficult to forecast industry and consumer trends and the timing and degree of their impact on our markets and business, which in turn could adversely affect our ability to effectively manage our business and our results of operations.

 

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For example, since the U.K. initiated the process to exit the European Union, known as Brexit, global markets and foreign exchange rates have experienced increased volatility, including a decline in the value of the British pound as compared to the U.S. Dollar. We have significant operations in both the U.K. and the European Union. Our operations and those of our merchants are highly integrated across the U.K. and the European Union and are highly dependent on the free flow of labor and goods in those regions. Although the U.K. ceased to be a member of the E.U. on January 31, 2020, the U.K. and E.U. will continue to work on the terms of the departure through a transition period ending December 31, 2020.  As a result, there remains significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the U.K. and the E.U. The ongoing uncertainty and potential outcomes could negatively impact our merchant and customer relationships and financial performance. In addition, uncertainty could continue to adversely affect consumer confidence and spending in the U.K. We could face new regulatory costs and challenges when the final terms of the governing relationships and final U.K. regulations are determined.  Since the final terms of that exit and the U.K. regulatory environment are uncertain, we are unable to predict the effect Brexit will have on our business and results of operations.  

As another example, our financial results may be negatively impacted by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak.  The extent and duration of such impacts remain largely uncertain and dependent on future developments that cannot be accurately predicted at this time, such as the severity and transmission rate of the coronavirus, the extent and effectiveness of containment actions taken and the impact of these and other factors on travel behavior.

We operate in an increasingly competitive global environment and our failure to compete effectively could reduce our market share and harm our financial performance.

We compete in a rapidly evolving and competitive industry. We face competition for content, consumers, advertisers, online travel search and price comparison services, or what is known in the industry as metasearch, and online reservations. We compete globally with both online and offline, established and emerging, providers of travel, lodging, experiences and restaurant reservation and related services. The markets for the services we offer are intensely competitive, and current and new competitors can launch new services at a relatively low cost.

We also compete with different types of companies in the various markets and geographies where we operate, including large and small companies in the travel space as well as broader service providers. More specifically:

 

In our Hotels, Media & Platform segment, we face competition from, and in some cases partner with, the following businesses: OTAs (including Expedia and Booking and many of their respective subsidiaries and operating companies); hotel metasearch providers (including trivago, Kayak and HotelsCombined, subsidiaries of Booking, and Trip.com Group Limited, formerly known as Ctrip.com International, Ltd); large online search, social media, and marketplace platforms and companies (including Google, Facebook, Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Alibaba, and Amazon); and traditional offline travel agencies; and global hotel chains seeking to promote direct bookings.

 

We also face competition from different companies in each of the offerings in our Experiences & Dining segment. Experiences competes with online travel agencies, such as Airbnb, Booking, GetYourGuide and Klook; traditional travel agencies; online travel service providers; and wholesalers, among others.  Dining competes with other online restaurant reservation services, such as SeatMe (owned by Yelp) and OpenTable (a subsidiary of Booking).

There has been a proliferation of new channels through which providers can offer accommodations, experiences and restaurant reservations.  Metasearch services may lower the cost for new companies to enter the market by providing a distribution channel without the cost of promoting the new entrant’s brand to drive consumers directly to its website. Some of our competitors and potential competitors offer a variety of online services, many of which are used by competitors more frequently than online travel services.  In addition, in some cases, our competitors are willing to make little or no profit on a transaction, or offer travel services at a loss, in order to gain market share. Many of our competitors (such as Google, Booking and Trip.com Group Limited) have significantly greater financial, technical, marketing and other resources than us and have more expertise in developing online commerce and facilitating internet traffic as well as large client bases. They also have the ability to leverage other aspects of their business to enable them to compete more effectively against us. For example, Google has entered various aspects of the online travel market, including by establishing a flight metasearch product ("Google Flights")

 

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and a hotel metasearch product ("Google Hotel Ads") that are growing rapidly, as well as its "Book on Google" reservation functionality and its Google Trips app.

In addition, Google and other large, established companies with substantial resources and expertise in developing online commerce and facilitating internet traffic have launched travel or travel-related search, metasearch and/or reservation booking services and may create additional inroads into online travel. Google's travel metasearch services, Google Hotel Ads and Google Flights, are growing rapidly and have achieved significant market share in a relatively short time.  In addition, many of our competitors, including online search companies, continue to expand their voice and artificial intelligence capabilities, which may provide them with a competitive advantage in travel. We cannot assure you that we will be able to compete successfully against our current, emerging and future competitors or on platforms that may emerge, or provide differentiated products and services to our traveler base.  

We compete with certain companies that we also do business with, including some of our click-based advertising travel partners. The consolidation of our competitors and travel partners, including Expedia (through its acquisitions of Orbitz, Travelocity, and HomeAway) and Booking (through its acquisitions of KAYAK and OpenTable), may affect our relative competitiveness and our travel partner relationships. Competition and consolidation could result in higher traffic acquisition costs, reduced margins on our advertising services, loss of market share, reduced customer traffic to our websites and reduced advertising by travel companies on our websites.

As the industry shifts towards online travel services and the technology supporting it continues to evolve, including platforms such as mobile phone and tablet computing devices, competition is likely to intensify. Competition in our industry may result in pricing pressure, loss of market share or decreased user engagement, any of which could adversely affect our business and financial performance.

We rely on information technology to operate our business and remain competitive, and any failure to adapt to technological developments or industry trends could harm our businesses.

We depend on the use of sophisticated information technologies and systems for website and mobile apps, supplier connectivity, communications, reservations, payment processing, procurement, customer service and fraud prevention. Our future success depends on our ability to continuously improve and upgrade our systems and infrastructure to meet rapidly evolving consumer trends and demands while at the same time maintaining the reliability and integrity of our systems and infrastructure. We may not be able to maintain or replace our existing systems or introduce new technologies and systems as quickly as we would like or in a cost-effective manner. We may not be successful, or as successful as our competitors, in developing technologies and systems that operate effectively across multiple devices and platforms in a way that is appealing to our consumers.

In addition, the emergence of alternative devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, and the emergence of niche competitors who may be able to optimize products, services or strategies for such platforms, will require additional investment in technology. New developments in other areas could also make it easier for competitors to enter our markets due to lower up-front technology costs. Technology changes, including new devices, services and home assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa Voice and Google Home, and developing technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, could negatively impact our business.

If we do not continue to innovate and provide products, services and features that are useful to users, we may not remain competitive, and our business and financial performance could suffer.

Our success depends in part on continued innovation to provide products, features and services that make our platform compelling to users and engage our consumers. Our competitors are continually developing innovations in online travel-related services and features. As a result, we are continually working to improve our business model and consumer experience in order to engage our consumers and drive user traffic and conversion rates. We have invested, and expect to continue to invest, significant resources in developing and marketing these innovations. We can give no assurances that the changes we make will yield the benefits we expect and will not have unintended or adverse impacts that we did not anticipate. If we are unable to continue offering innovative products and services

 

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and quality features that users want to use, existing consumers may become dissatisfied and use competitors’ offerings and we may be unable to attract additional consumers, which could adversely affect our business and financial performance.

Our dedication to making the user experience our highest priority may cause us to prioritize rapid innovation and user experience over short-term financial results.

We strive to create the best experience for our users, providing them with the information, products and tools to enable them to plan, book, and experience the perfect trip. We believe that in doing so we will increase our rates of conversion, our revenue and, ultimately, our financial performance over the long-term. We have taken actions in the past and may continue to make decisions in the future that have the effect of reducing our short-term revenue or profitability if we believe that the decisions benefit the overall user experience. For example, we may introduce new products or changes to existing products or the user experience that decrease rates of conversion but increases revenue.  In addition, our approach of putting users first may negatively impact our relationship with existing or prospective partners. These actions and practices could result in a loss of partners, which in turn could harm our results of operations. The short-term reductions in revenue or profitability could be more severe than we anticipate or these decisions may not produce the long-term benefits that we expect, in which case our user growth and engagement, our relationships with consumers and travel partners, and our business and results of operations could be harmed. In addition, if new or enhanced products fail to engage users or if we are unsuccessful in our effort to monetize these initiatives, we may fail to generate sufficient revenue, profit margin or other value to justify our investments, in which case our business and results of operations would be adversely affected.  

We are dependent upon the quality of traffic in our network to provide value to our partners, and any failure in our ability to deliver quality traffic and/or the metrics to demonstrate the value of the traffic could have a material adverse effect on the value of our websites to our partners and adversely affect our revenue.

We use technology and processes to monitor the quality of the internet traffic that we deliver to our partners and have identified metrics to demonstrate the quality of that traffic. These metrics are used to not only identify the value of advertising on our website but also to identify low quality clicks such as non-human processes, including robots, spiders or other software; the mechanical automation of clicking; and other types of invalid clicks or click fraud. Even with such monitoring in place, there is a risk that a certain amount of low-quality traffic, or traffic that online advertisers deem to be invalid, will be delivered to such online advertisers. As a result, we may be required to credit amounts owed to us by our partners. Furthermore, low-quality or invalid traffic may be detrimental to our relationships with partners, and could adversely affect our advertising pricing and revenue.

We rely on assumptions and estimates and data to calculate certain of our key metrics, and real or perceived inaccuracies in such metrics may harm our reputation and negatively affect our business.

We believe that certain metrics are key to our business. As both the industry in which we operate and our businesses continue to evolve, so too might the metrics by which we evaluate our businesses and the company. In addition, while the calculation of the metrics we use is based on what we believe to be reasonable estimates, our internal tools are not independently verified by a third party and have a number of limitations and, furthermore, our methodologies for tracking these metrics may change over time. For example, a single person may have multiple accounts or browse the internet on multiple browsers or devices, some consumers may restrict our ability to accurately identify them across visits, some mobile apps automatically contact our servers for regular updates with no user action, and we are not always able to capture user information on all of our platforms. As such, the calculations of our unique visitors may not accurately reflect the number of people actually visiting our platforms. We continue to improve upon our tools and methodologies to capture data and believe that our current metrics are accurate; however, the improvement of our tools and methodologies could cause inconsistency between current data and previously reported data, which could confuse investors or lead to questions about the integrity of our data. Also if the internal tools we use to track these metrics under-count or over-count performance or contain algorithm or other technical errors, the data we report may not be accurate.  Finally, we may, in the future, identify new or other metrics that enable us to more accurately evaluate our business.  Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on these metrics.

 

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We rely on the performance of highly skilled personnel and, if we are unable to retain or motivate key personnel or hire, retain and motivate qualified personnel, our business would be harmed.  

Our future success is largely dependent on the talents and efforts of highly skilled individuals.  In particular, the contributions of Stephen Kaufer, our co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and President, the contributions of key senior management and the contributions of software engineers and other technology professionals, are critical to our overall management and the success of our business.  We cannot ensure that we will be able to retain the services of our existing key personnel and the loss of one or more of our key personnel could seriously harm our business. We do not maintain any key person life insurance policies.

In addition, competition remains intense for well-qualified employees in certain aspects of our business, including software engineers, developers, product management and development personnel, and other technology professionals. Our continued ability to compete effectively depends on our ability to attract new employees and to retain and motivate existing employees. As a global company, we aim to attract quality employees from all over the world, so any restrictions on travel for professional or personal purposes may cause significant disruption to our businesses or negatively affect our ability to attract and retain employees on a global basis. If we do not succeed in attracting well-qualified employees or retaining or motivating existing employees, our business would be adversely affected.

Acquisitions, investments, significant commercial arrangements and/or new business strategies could disrupt our ongoing business and present new challenges and risks.

Our success will depend, in part, on our ability to expand our product offerings in order to grow our business in response to changing technologies, user and travel partner demands and competitive pressures. As a result, we have acquired, invested in and/or entered into significant commercial arrangements with a number of new businesses in the past and our future growth may depend, in part, on future acquisitions, investments, commercial arrangements and/or changes in business strategies. Such endeavors may involve significant risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the following:

 

Expected and unexpected costs incurred in identifying and pursuing these endeavors, and performing due diligence on potential targets that may or may not be successful;

 

Use of cash resources and incurrence of debt and contingent liabilities in funding these endeavors that may limit other potential uses of our cash, including product development, stock repurchases, and/or dividend payments;

 

Amortization expenses related to acquired intangible assets and other adverse accounting consequences;

 

Diversion of management’s attention or other resources from our existing business;

 

Difficulties and expenses in integrating the operations, products, technology, privacy protection systems, information systems or personnel of the company, including the assimilation of corporate cultures;

 

Difficulties in implementing and retaining uniform standards, controls, procedures, policies and information systems;

 

The assumption of known and unknown debt and liabilities of the acquired company, including costs associated with litigation, cybersecurity risks, and other claims relating to the acquired company;

 

Failure of any company which we have acquired, in which we have invested, or with which we have a commercial arrangement, to achieve anticipated revenues, earnings or cash flows or to retain key management or employees;

 

Failure to generate adequate returns on acquisitions and investments;

 

With respect to minority investments, limited management or operational control and reputational risk, which risk is heightened if the controlling person in such case has business interests, strategies or goals that are inconsistent with ours;

 

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Entrance into markets in which we have no direct prior experience and increased complexity in our business;

 

Impairment of goodwill or other intangible assets such as trademarks or other intellectual property arising from acquisitions; and

 

Adverse market reaction to acquisitions.

We have invested, and may in the future invest, in privately-held companies and these investments are currently accounted for using the measurement alternative for equity investments without a readily determinable fair value, which measure these investments at cost while subtracting any impairments, if any, plus or minus changes resulting from observable price changes in orderly transactions for the identical or a similar investment of the same issuer. Such investments are inherently risky in that such companies are typically at an early stage of development, may have no or limited revenues, may not be or may never become profitable, may not be able to secure additional funding or their technologies, services or products may not be successfully developed or introduced into the market. Further, our ability to liquidate any such investments is typically dependent upon some liquidity event, such as a public offering or acquisition, since no public market exists for such securities. Valuations of such privately-held companies are inherently complex and uncertain due to the lack of liquid market for the company’s securities. Moreover, we could lose the full amount of any of our investments and any impairment of our investments could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We cannot assure you that these investments will be successful or that such endeavors will result in the realization of the full benefits of synergies, cost savings, innovation and operational efficiencies that may be possible or that we will achieve these benefits within a reasonable period of time.  

If we fail to manage our growth effectively, our brand, results of operations and business could be harmed.

Over the years, we have experienced rapid growth in some areas of our business, including through acquisitions of other businesses and in new international markets. We continue to make substantial investments in our technology, product and sales, and marketing organizations. This growth places substantial demands on management and our operational infrastructure. In addition, as our business matures, we make periodic changes and adjustments to our organization in response to various internal and external considerations, including market opportunities, the competitive landscape, new and enhanced products and acquisitions. These changes may result in a temporary lack of focus or productivity or otherwise impact our business.

To manage our growth, we may need to improve our operational, financial and management systems and processes which may require significant capital expenditures and allocation of valuable management and employee resources. As we continue to grow, we must effectively integrate, develop and motivate a large number of new employees, including employees in international markets, while maintaining the beneficial aspects of our company culture. If we do not manage the growth of our business and operations effectively, the quality of our platform and efficiency of our operations could suffer, which could harm our brand, results of operations and business.

Risks Related to Legal and Regulatory Matters

We are a global company that operates in many different jurisdictions and these operations expose us to additional risks, which risks increase as our business continues to expand.

We operate in a number of jurisdictions both inside and outside of the United States and continue to expand our operations both domestically and internationally. Many regions have different economic conditions, languages, currencies, consumer expectations, legislation, regulatory environments (including labor laws and customs), tax laws, levels of consumer acceptance and use of the internet for commerce and levels of political stability. We are subject to associated risks typical of global businesses, including, but not limited to, the following:

     Compliance with additional laws and regulations (including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) and the California Consumer

 

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Privacy Act (or CCPA)), data privacy requirements, labor and employment law, laws regarding advertisements and promotions and anti-competition regulations;

     Diminished ability to legally enforce contractual rights;

     Increased risk and limits on enforceability of intellectual property rights;

     Restrictions on repatriation of cash as well as restrictions on investments in operations in certain countries;

     Financial risk arising from transactions in multiple currencies as well as foreign currency exchange restrictions;

     Difficulties in managing staff and operations due to distance, time zones, language and cultural differences;

     Uncertainty regarding liability for services, content and intellectual property rights, including uncertainty as a result of local laws and lack of precedent;

     Economic or political instability or laws and regulations involving economic or trade prohibitions or sanctions; and

     Threatened or actual acts of terrorism.

Our strategy includes continued expansion in existing international and new international markets. Many of these markets have different economic conditions, customers, languages, currencies, consumer expectations, levels of consumer acceptance and use of the internet for commerce, legislation, regulatory environments, tax laws and levels of political stability, and we are subject to associated risks typical of international businesses.  International markets have strong local competitors with established brands and travel service providers or relationships that may make expansion in certain markets difficult and costly and take more time than anticipated. In addition, compliance with legal, regulatory or tax requirements in multiple jurisdictions places demands on our time and resources, and we may nonetheless experience unforeseen and potentially adverse legal, regulatory or tax consequences. In some markets, legal and other regulatory requirements may prohibit or limit participation by foreign businesses, such as by making foreign ownership or management of internet or travel-related businesses illegal or difficult or may make direct participation in those markets uneconomic, which could make our entry or expansion in those markets difficult or impossible, require that we work with a local partner or result in higher operating costs.  If we are unsuccessful in expanding in new and existing markets and effectively managing that expansion, our business and results of operations could be adversely affected. A number of countries are actively pursuing changes to their tax laws applicable to corporate multinationals, such as the recently enacted U.S. tax legislation, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “2017 Tax Act”). Foreign governments may enact tax laws that could result in further changes to global taxation and materially affect our financial position and results of operations.

The 2017 Tax Act resulted in significant changes to the U.S. corporate income tax system. The 2017 Tax Act requires complex computations to be performed that were not previously required in U.S. tax law, significant judgments to be made in interpretation of the provisions of the 2017 Tax Act and significant estimates in calculations, and the preparation and analysis of information not previously relevant or regularly produced. The U.S. Treasury Department, the IRS and other standard-setting bodies could interpret or issue guidance on how provisions of the 2017 Tax Act will be applied or otherwise administered that is different from our interpretation.

We are regularly subject to claims, lawsuits, government investigations, and other proceedings that may result in adverse outcomes.

We are regularly subject to claims, lawsuits, government investigations and other proceedings involving, among other matters, patent and intellectual property rights (including alleged infringement of third-party intellectual property rights), tax matters (including value-added, excise, transient, occupancy and accommodation taxes), regulatory compliance (including competition and consumer protection matters), defamation and free speech (including intermediary liability and platform immunity challenges), labor and employment matters and commercial disputes.

 

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Such claims, lawsuits, government investigations and proceedings are inherently uncertain and their results cannot be predicted with certainty. Regardless of the outcome, any of these types of legal proceedings could have an adverse impact on us because of legal costs, diversion of management resources, injunctions or damage awards and other factors. Determining reserves for our pending litigation or other legal proceedings is a complex, fact-intensive process that requires significant judgment. It is possible that a resolution of one or more such proceedings could result in substantial damages, fines or penalties that could adversely affect our business, consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows in a particular period. These proceedings could also result in reputational harm, criminal sanctions, consent decrees, the release of confidential information or orders preventing us from offering certain features, functionalities, products, or services, requiring a change in our business practices or other field action, or requiring development of non-infringing or otherwise altered products or technologies. Any of these consequences could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

A failure to comply with current laws, rules and regulations or changes to such laws, rules and regulations and other legal uncertainties may adversely affect our business or financial performance.

Our business and financial performance could be adversely affected by unfavorable changes in or interpretations of existing laws, rules and regulations or the promulgation of new laws, rules and regulations applicable to us and our business, including those relating to internet and online commerce, internet advertising, consumer protection, intermediary liability, data security and privacy, travel and rental licensing and listing requirements and tax. In some cases, these laws continue to evolve.  

For example, there is, and will likely continue to be, an increasing number of laws and regulations pertaining to internet and online commerce that may relate to liability for information retrieved from or transmitted over the internet, online editorial and user-generated content, user privacy, data security, behavioral targeting and online advertising, taxation, liability for third-party activities and the quality of products and services. In addition, the growth and development of online commerce may prompt calls for more stringent consumer protection laws and more aggressive enforcement efforts, which may impose additional burdens on online businesses generally. Also, evolving case law and new legislation involving worker classification, including a new law in California, increase the potential for litigation and government audits in this area and may have ramifications as to how we operate certain segments of our business and our engagement with independent contractors.  

Further, our Rentals business has been and continues to be subject to regulatory developments globally that affect the rental industry and the ability of companies like us to list those rentals online. For example, some states and local jurisdictions, both domestically and internationally, have adopted, or are considering adopting, statutes or ordinances that prohibit property owners and managers from renting certain properties on a short-term basis or otherwise limit their ability to do so, and other states and local jurisdictions may introduce similar regulations.  Some states and local jurisdictions also have fair housing or other laws governing whether and how properties may be rented, which they assert apply to vacation rentals. In addition, many homeowners, condominium and neighborhood associations have adopted or are considering adopting rules that prohibit or restrict property owners and managers from short-term rentals. Operating in this dynamic regulatory environment requires significant management attention and financial resources.  We cannot assure that our efforts will be successful, and the investment and additional resources required to manage growth will produce the desired levels of revenue or profitability.  

We also have been subject, and we will likely be subject in the future, to inquiries from time to time from regulatory bodies concerning compliance with consumer protection, competition, tax, data privacy and travel industry-specific laws and regulations. The failure of our businesses to comply with these laws and regulations could result in fines and/or proceedings against us by governmental agencies, regulatory authorities, courts and/or consumers, which if material, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Further, if such laws and regulations are not enforced equally against other competitors in a particular market, our compliance with such laws may put us at a competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis competitors who do not comply with such requirements.

The promulgation of new laws, rules and regulations, or the new interpretation of existing laws, rules and regulations, in each case that restrict or otherwise unfavorably impact the ability or manner in which we provide

 

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services could require us to change certain aspects of our business, operations and commercial relationships to ensure compliance, which could decrease demand for services, reduce revenues, increase costs and/or subject the company to additional liabilities. For example, in 2018, the European Union adopted GDPR implementing enhanced data protection requirements and, in 2019, the State of California adopted the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) implementing privacy rights and consumer protections for California residents.  Other jurisdictions have adopted or are contemplating similar legislation.  This legislation will continue to change the landscape for the use and protection of data and could increase the cost and complexity of delivering our services. Unfavorable changes could decrease demand for products and services, limit marketing methods and capabilities, impede development of new products, result in negative publicity, require significant management time, increase costs and/or subject us to additional liabilities. Violations of these laws and regulations could result in penalties and/or criminal sanctions against us, our officers or our employees and/or restrictions on the conduct of parts of our business in certain jurisdictions.    

Likewise, the SEC, Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Office of Foreign Assets Controls (“OFAC”), as well as foreign regulatory authorities, have continued to increase the enforcement of economic sanctions and trade regulations, anti-money laundering, and anti-corruption laws, across industries. U.S. economic sanctions relate to transactions with designated foreign countries, including Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and nationals and others of those countries, Ukraine/Russia related sanctions, as well as certain specifically targeted individuals and entities. We believe that our activities comply with OFAC, European Union, U.K. and other regulatory authorities’ economic sanction and trade regulations, as well as anti-money laundering and anti-corruption regulations, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), the UK Bribery Act and the U.K. Criminal Finances Act. As regulations continue to evolve and regulatory oversight continues to increase, we cannot guarantee that our programs and policies will be deemed compliant by all applicable regulatory authorities. In the event our controls should fail or are found to be out of compliance for other reasons, we could be subject to monetary damages, civil and criminal monetary penalties, litigation and damage to our reputation and the value of our brands.

We cannot be sure that our intellectual property is protected from copying or use by others, including potential competitors.

Our websites rely on content, brands and technology, much of which is proprietary. We protect our proprietary content, brands and technology by relying on a combination of trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, patents and confidentiality agreements. Any misappropriation or violation of our rights could have a material adverse effect on our business. Even with these precautions, it may be possible for another party to copy or otherwise obtain and use our proprietary technology, content or brands without authorization or to develop similar technology, content or brands independently.

Effective intellectual property protection is expensive to develop and maintain, both in terms of initial and ongoing registration requirements and expenses and the costs of defending our rights. In addition, effective intellectual property protection may not be available in every jurisdiction in which our services are made available, and policing unauthorized use of our intellectual property is difficult and expensive. Therefore, in certain jurisdictions, we may be unable to protect our intellectual property adequately against unauthorized third-party copying or use, which could adversely affect our business or ability to compete. We cannot be sure that the steps we have taken will prevent misappropriation or infringement of our intellectual property. Furthermore, we may need to go to court or other tribunals or administrative bodies in order to enforce our intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets or to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others. These proceedings might result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention. Our failure to protect our intellectual property in a cost-effective or effective manner could have a material adverse effect on our business and ability to protect our technology, content and brands.

We currently license from third parties and incorporate the technologies and content into our websites. As we continue to introduce new services that incorporate new technologies and content, we may be required to license additional technology, or content. We cannot be sure that such technology or content will be available on commercially reasonable terms, if at all.

 

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Risks Related to Data Security and Privacy

Our processing, storage and use of personal information and other data subjects us to additional laws and regulations and failure to comply with those laws and regulations could give rise to liabilities.

We collect, process, store and transmit data, including personal information, for our consumers and our workforce. As a result, we are subject to a variety of laws in the United States and abroad regarding privacy and the storing, sharing, use, processing, disclosure and protection of personal information, the scope of which are changing, subject to differing interpretations, and may be inconsistent between countries or conflict with other existing laws. In addition, the security of data when engaging in electronic commerce is essential to maintaining consumer and travel service provider confidence in our services. The regulatory framework for privacy issues worldwide is currently in flux and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Practices regarding the collection, use, storage, transmission and security of personal information by companies operating over the internet have recently come under increased public scrutiny. The U.S. Congress and federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce, are reviewing the need for greater regulation for the collection and use of information concerning consumer behavior on the internet in the United States. Various U.S. courts are also considering the applicability of existing federal and state statutes, including computer trespass and wiretapping laws, to the collection and exchange of information online.

In addition, we are subject to legislation intended to enhance the privacy and security of personal data, including credit card information (such as GDPR, the CCPA and other country specific data protection laws).  There are a number of proposals for data privacy laws pending or proposed in other jurisdictions, including at both the state and federal levels of the United States as well as internationally. Implementing and complying with these laws and regulations may be more costly or take longer than we anticipate, or could otherwise affect our business operations. We strive to comply with all applicable laws, policies, legal obligations and industry codes of conduct relating to privacy and data protection. Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with our privacy policies, privacy-related obligations to consumers or other third parties, or privacy-related legal obligations, may result in governmental enforcement actions, including, for example, fines and/or penalties, compliance orders, litigation or public statements that could harm our reputation and cause our users and travel partners to lose trust in us, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business, brand, market share and results of operations.

We are subject to risks associated with processing credit card and other payment transactions and failure to manage those risks may subject us to fines, penalties and additional costs and could have a negative impact on our business. 

We accept payments from consumers and travel partners using a variety of methods, including credit card, debit card, direct debit from a customer’s bank account, and invoicing. For existing and future payment options we offer to our customers, we may become subject to additional regulations and compliance requirements (including obligations to implement enhanced authentication processes). These regulations and/or requirements could result in significant costs and reduce the ease of use of our payment products and yet may still be susceptible to fraudulent activity. In addition, we may be held liable for accepting fraudulent credit cards on our websites as well as other payment disputes with our customers.  For certain payment methods, including credit and debit cards, we pay interchange and other fees, which may increase over time and raise our operating costs and lower profitability. We rely on third parties to provide certain payment methods and payment processing services, including the processing of credit cards and debit cards. In each case, our business could be disrupted if these companies become unwilling or unable to provide these services to us. We are also subject to payment card association operating rules, including data security rules, certification requirements, and rules governing electronic funds transfers, which could change or be reinterpreted to make it difficult or impossible for us to comply. If we fail to comply with these rules or requirements or if our data security systems are breached or compromised, we may be liable for card issuing banks’ costs, subject to fines and higher transaction fees, and/or lose our ability to accept credit and debit card payments, process electronic funds transfers, or facilitate other types of online payments. We are also subject to a number of other laws and regulations relating to payments, money laundering, international money transfers, privacy and information security, and electronic fund transfers. If we were found to be in violation of applicable laws or regulations, we could be subject to additional requirements and civil and criminal penalties, or forced to cease providing certain services.

 

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System security issues, data protection breaches, cyberattacks and system outage issues could disrupt our operations or services provided to our consumers, and any such disruption could damage our reputation and adversely affect our business, financial results and stock price.

Our reputation and ability to attract, retain and service our consumers and travel partners is dependent upon the reliable performance and security of our computer systems, workforce and those of third parties we utilize in our operations.  Significant security issues, data breaches, cyberattacks and outages, interruptions or delays, in our systems or third party systems upon which we rely, could impair our ability to display content or process transactions and significantly harm our business. Breaches of our security measures or the accidental loss, inadvertent disclosure or unapproved dissemination of proprietary information or sensitive or confidential data about us, our consumers or our travel partners, could expose us, our consumers and travel partners to a risk of loss or misuse of this information, damage our brand and reputation or otherwise harm our business and financial performance and result in government enforcement actions and litigation and potential liability for us.

Computer programmers and hackers also may be able to develop and deploy viruses, worms, ransomware and other malicious software programs that attack our products or otherwise exploit any security vulnerabilities of our products, or attempt to fraudulently induce our employees, consumers, or others to disclose passwords or other sensitive information or unwittingly provide access to our systems or data. In addition, sophisticated hardware and operating system software and applications that we produce or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture, including “bugs” and other problems that could unexpectedly interfere with the operation of the system. We may need to expend significant resources to protect against security breaches or to investigate and address problems caused by cyber or other security problems.  

We may be unable to proactively address these techniques or to implement adequate preventive measures and our efforts to address these problems may not be successful and could result in interruptions, delays, cessation of service and loss of existing or potential customers that may impede our sales, manufacturing, distribution or other critical functions. Failure to adequately protect against attacks or intrusions, whether for our own systems or systems of vendors, could expose us to security breaches that could have an adverse impact on our financial performance.  The costs of enhancing infrastructure to attain improved stability and redundancy may be time consuming and expensive and may require resources and expertise that are difficult to obtain. In addition, to the extent that we do experience a data breach, remediation may be costly and we may not have adequate insurance to cover such costs.

Much of our business is conducted with third party partners and vendors, including, for example, marketing agencies and SaaS providers. A security breach at such third party could be perceived by consumers as a security breach of our systems and could result in negative publicity or damage our reputation, expose us to risk of loss or litigation and possible liability and subject us to regulatory penalties and sanctions. In addition, such incidents may also result in a decline in our active user base or engagement levels.  Finally, failure of such third parties to comply with applicable disclosure requirements could expose us to liability.

We have acquired a number of companies over the years and may continue to do so in the future. As a result of these acquisitions, we may increase the volume of personal data that we collect, store, process and transmit. While we make significant efforts to address any information security issues and personal data protection issues with respect to our acquisitions, we may still inherit such risks when we integrate the acquired businesses.

Media coverage of data breaches and consumer rights has escalated, in part because of the increased number of enforcement actions, investigations and lawsuits. Security breaches could result in negative publicity, damage to reputation, exposure to risk of loss or litigation and possible liability due to regulatory penalties and sanctions. As this focus and attention on privacy and data protection increases, we also risk exposure to potential liabilities and costs resulting from the compliance with, or any failure to comply with, applicable legal requirements, conflicts among these legal requirements or differences in approaches to privacy and security. Security breaches could also cause travelers and potential consumers to lose confidence in our data security, which would have a negative effect on the value of our brand.

Evolving guidance on use of "cookies" and similar technology could negatively impact the way we do business.

 

 

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A "cookie" is a text file that is stored on a user's web browser by a website. Cookies are common tools used by thousands of websites, including ours, to, among other things, store or gather information (e.g., remember log-on details so a user does not have to re-enter them when revisiting a website), market to consumers, improve site security and enhance the user experience on a website. Cookies and similar tracking technologies are valuable tools for websites and apps like ours to improve the customer experience and increase conversion on their websites. Many countries have adopted data protection laws that introduce regulations governing the use of "cookies and other similar tracking technologies" by websites and app developers servicing consumers. To the extent any such regulations require "opt-in" or “affirmative” consent before certain cookies or trackers can be placed on a user's device or the ability of users to “opt-out” or control their preferences, our ability to serve certain customers in the manner we currently do, including with respect to retargeting or personalized advertising, might be adversely affected and our ability to continue to improve and optimize performance on our websites might be impaired, either of which could negatively affect a consumer's experience using our services and our business, market share and results of operations.

 

Risks Related to the Financial and Tax Matters

We may have future capital needs and may not be able to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms.

We are currently party to a credit agreement with respect to a $1.2 billion revolving credit facility maturing in May 2022 (the “2015 Credit Facility”). This agreement includes restrictive covenants that may impact the way we manage our business and may limit our ability to secure significant additional financing in the future on favorable terms. Our ability to secure additional financing and satisfy our financial obligations outstanding from time to time will depend upon our future operating performance, which is subject to then prevailing general economic and credit market conditions, including interest rate levels and the availability of credit generally, and financial, business and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. There can be no assurance that sufficient financing will be available or desirable, or even any, terms to fund investments, acquisitions, stock repurchases, dividends, debt refinancing or extraordinary actions or that counterparties in any such financings would honor their contractual commitments.

We have indebtedness which could adversely affect our business and financial condition.

As of December 31, 2019, we had no outstanding long-term debt; however, we continue to have existing credit facilities from which we can borrow significant amounts. As such, we are still subject to risks relating to our potential indebtedness that include:

 

Increasing our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

 

Requiring us to dedicate a portion of our cash flow from operations to principal and interest payments on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and investments and other general corporate purposes;

 

Making it more difficult for us to optimally capitalize and manage the cash flow for our businesses;

 

Limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our businesses and the markets in which we operate;

 

Possibly placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less debt;

 

Limiting our ability to borrow additional funds or to borrow funds at rates or on other terms that we find acceptable; and

 

Exposing us to the risk of increased interest rates because our outstanding debt is expected to be subject to variable rates of interest.

In addition, it is possible that we may need to incur additional indebtedness in the future in the ordinary course of business. The terms of our 2015 Credit Facility allow us to incur additional debt subject to certain limitations;

 

24


 

however, there is no assurance that additional financing will be available to us on terms favorable to us, if at all. In addition, if new debt is added to the then existing debt levels, the risks described above could intensify.

Our 2015 Credit Facility provides for various provisions that limit our discretion in the operation of our business and require us to meet financial maintenance tests and other covenants and the failure to comply with these covenants could have a material adverse effect on us.

We are party to a credit agreement providing for our 2015 Credit Facility. The agreements that govern the 2015 Credit Facility contain various covenants, including those that limit our ability to, among other things:

 

Incur indebtedness;

 

Pay dividends on, redeem or repurchase our capital stock;

 

Enter into certain asset sale transactions, including partial or full spin-off transactions;

 

Enter into secured financing arrangements;

 

Enter into sale and leaseback transactions; and

 

Enter into unrelated businesses.

These covenants may limit our ability to optimally operate our business. In addition, our 2015 Credit Facility requires that we meet certain financial tests, including a leverage ratio test. Any failure to comply with the restrictions of our credit facility may result in an event of default under the agreements governing such facility. Such default may allow the creditors to accelerate the debt incurred thereunder. In addition, lenders may be able to terminate any commitments they had made to supply us with further funds (including periodic rollovers of existing borrowings).

Our financial results will fluctuate from quarter to quarter and are difficult to predict.

Our quarterly financial results have fluctuated in the past and will likely fluctuate in the future.  Additionally, we have limited operating history with the current scale of our business, which means it is difficult to forecast our financial results. As a result, you should not rely upon our quarterly financial results as indicators of future performance. Our financial results in any given quarter can be influenced by numerous factors, many of which we are unable to predict or are outside of our control, including:

 

Our ability to maintain and grow our user base and to increase user engagement;

 

Increase in marketing, sales and other operation expenses that we will incur to grow and expand our operations and to remain competitive;

 

Fluctuations in the marketing spend of our travel partners due to seasonality, episodic global or regional events or other factors;

 

The pricing of our ads and other products;

 

User behavior or product changes that may reduce traffic to features or products that we successfully monetize;

 

System failure or outages, which would prevent us from serving ads for any period of time;

 

Breaches of security or privacy and the costs associated with any such breaches and remediation;

 

Fees paid to third parties for content or promotion of our products and services;

 

Adverse litigation judgments, settlement or other litigation related costs;

 

Changes in the legislative or regulatory environment, including with respect to privacy and data protection, or engagement by government regulators, including final orders or consent decrees;

 

25


 

 

The impact of changes in tax laws, which are recorded in the period enacted and may significantly affect our effective income tax rates and non-income taxes;

 

Tax obligations that may arise from resolutions of tax examinations, including the examinations we are currently under that may materially differ from the amounts we have anticipated;

 

Fluctuations in currency exchange rates and changes in the proportion of our revenue and expenses denominated in foreign currencies;

 

Changes in U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; and

 

Changes in global business and macroeconomic conditions.

If we are unable to successfully maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, investors may lose confidence in our reported financial information and our stock price and business may be adversely impacted.

As a public company, we are required to maintain internal control over financial reporting and our management is required to evaluate the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of the end of each fiscal year. Additionally, we are required to disclose in our Annual Reports on Form 10-K our management’s assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and a registered public accounting firm’s attestation report on this assessment. If we are not successful in maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, there could be inaccuracies or omissions in the consolidated financial information we are required to file with the SEC. Additionally, even if there are no inaccuracies or omissions, we could be required to publicly disclose the conclusion of our management that our internal control over financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures are not effective. These events could cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, adversely impact our stock price, result in increased costs to remediate any deficiencies, attract regulatory scrutiny or lawsuits that could be costly to resolve and distract management’s attention, limit our ability to access the capital markets or cause our stock to be delisted from NASDAQ or any other securities exchange on which we are then listed.

Our effective income tax rate is impacted by a number of factors that could have a material impact on our financial results and could increase the volatility of those results.

Due to the global nature of our business, we are subject to income taxes in the United States and other foreign jurisdictions. In the event we incur net income in certain jurisdictions but incur losses in other jurisdictions, we generally cannot offset the income from one jurisdiction with the loss from another. This lack of flexibility increases our effective income tax rate. Furthermore, significant judgment is required to calculate our worldwide provision for income taxes and depends on our ability to operate our business in a manner consistent with our corporate structure and intercompany arrangements. In the ordinary course of our business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain.

We believe our tax estimates are reasonable. However, we are routinely under audit by federal, state and foreign taxing authorities. The taxing authorities of jurisdictions in which we operate may challenge our methodologies for valuing developed technology or intercompany arrangements, including our transfer pricing, or determine that the manner in which we operate our business does not achieve the intended tax consequences, which would increase our effective income tax rate and harm our financial position and results of operations. As we operate in numerous taxing jurisdictions, the application of tax laws can also be subject to diverging and sometimes conflicting interpretations by taxing authorities of these jurisdictions. It is not uncommon for taxing authorities of different countries to have conflicting views, for instance, with respect to, among other things, the manner in which the arm’s length standard is applied for transfer pricing purposes, or with respect to the valuation of intellectual property. For example, the OECD has recently recommended changes to numerous long-standing international tax principles. If countries amend their tax laws to adopt certain parts of the OECD guidelines, this may increase tax uncertainty and may adversely impact our tax liabilities. Any of these changes could affect our financial performance.

 

26


 

The final determination of audits could be materially different from our income tax provisions and accruals and could have a material effect on our financial position, results of operations, or cash flows in the period or periods for which that determination is made. Also, our future effective income tax rates could be affected by changes in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets or changes in tax laws or their interpretation.  If our effective income tax rates were to increase, our results of operations and cash flows would be adversely affected.

The income tax effects of the accounting for share-based compensation may significantly impact our effective income tax rate. In periods in which our stock price is higher than the grant-date price of the share-based compensation awards vesting in that period, we will recognize excess tax benefits that will decrease our effective income tax rate. In periods in which our stock price is lower than the grant-date price of the share-based compensation awards vesting in that period, our effective income tax rate will increase.

Application of U.S. state and local or international tax laws, changes in tax laws or tax rulings, or the examination of our tax positions, could materially affect our financial position and results of operations.

As an international business, we are subject to income taxes and non-income-based taxes in the United States and various other international jurisdictions.  Tax laws are dynamic and subject to change as new laws are passed and new interpretations of the law are issued or applied. Our existing corporate structure and intercompany arrangements have been implemented in a manner we believe is in compliance with current prevailing tax laws. However, due to economic and political conditions, tax rates and tax regimes in various jurisdictions may be subject to significant change and the tax benefits that we intend to eventually derive could be undermined due to changing tax laws. Governments are increasingly focused on ways to increase tax revenues, which has contributed to an increase in audit activity, more aggressive positions taken by tax authorities and an increase in tax legislation.  Any such additional taxes or other assessments may be in excess of our current tax provisions or may require us to modify our business practices in order to reduce our exposure to additional taxes going forward, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.  

The 2017 Tax Act has resulted in significant changes to the U.S. corporate income tax system. The tax law changes by the 2017 Tax Act are broad and complex and there are still uncertainties about how the 2017 Tax Act will be interpreted at both the U.S. federal and state levels.  The U.S. Treasury Department, the IRS and other standard-setting bodies could interpret or issue guidance on how provisions of the 2017 Tax Act will be applied or otherwise administered that is different from our interpretation. This could materially change the taxes that we recorded since 2017, and the expected future impact of the 2017 Tax Act on our business.  

The OECD has been working on a Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project, and issued the Action 1 report in 2015 to address the tax challenges arising from digitalization. Since then, the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework has issued various guidelines, policy notes, and proposals that if adopted could result in an overhaul of the international taxation system under which our current tax obligations are determined. As the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework drives toward a consensus long-term solution, several countries have introduced unilateral digital service tax initiatives which impose new types of non-income taxes, including taxes based on a percentage of revenue. In July 2019, France signed into law a 3% digital services tax to be applied retroactively as of January 1, 2019.  We recorded an estimate of $3 million for digital service tax to general and administrative expense on our consolidated statement of operations during the year ended December 31, 2019; however, we continue to assess the financial impact of this new law. The Company is also monitoring other U.S. states and countries in which we do business, such as Italy, Spain, and the U.K., which have enacted or proposed similar taxes that will be applicable or are likely to be applicable during 2020. The Company will continue to monitor developments and determine the financial impact worldwide of these initiatives. 

Any changes to international tax laws, including new definitions of permanent establishment, could affect the tax treatment of our foreign earnings and adversely impact our effective income tax rate. Further, changes to tax laws and additional reporting requirements could increase the complexity, burden and cost of compliance. Due to the large and expanding scale of our international business activities, any changes in U.S. or international taxation of our activities or the combined effect of tax laws in multiple jurisdictions may increase our worldwide effective income tax rate, increase the complexity and costs associated with tax compliance (especially if changes are

 

27


 

implemented or interpreted inconsistently across tax jurisdictions) and adversely affect our cash flows and results of operations.

In addition, the taxing authorities in the United States and other jurisdictions where we do business regularly examine our income and other tax returns as well as the tax returns of Expedia, our former parent. The ultimate outcome of these examinations (including the IRS audit described below) cannot be predicted with certainty. Should the IRS or other taxing authorities assess additional taxes as a result of examinations, we may be required to record charges to our operations, which could harm our operating results and financial condition. 

Changes in the tax treatment of companies engaged in e-commerce may adversely affect the commercial use of our sites and our financial results.

 

Due to the global nature of the internet, it is possible that various states or foreign countries might attempt to levy additional or new sales, income or other taxes relating to our activities. Tax authorities at the international, federal, state and local levels are currently reviewing the appropriate treatment of companies engaged in e-commerce. For example, Congress is considering various approaches to legislation that would require companies engaged in e-commerce to collect sales tax on internet revenue and a growing number of U.S. states and certain foreign jurisdictions have adopted or are considering proposals to impose obligations on remote sellers and online marketplaces to collect taxes on their behalf. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc., in which a Court reversed longstanding precedent that remote sellers are not required to collect state and local sales taxes, may have an adverse impact on our business. Also, as described in more detail above, the European Commission released two draft directives on the Taxation of the Digital Economy and, on July 24, 2019, President Macron signed into law the French Digital Services Tax.  New or revised international, federal, state or local tax regulations or court decisions may subject us or our customers to additional sales, occupancy, income and other taxes. We cannot predict the effect of these and other attempts to impose sales, income or other taxes on e-commerce. New or revised taxes and, in particular, sales taxes, occupancy taxes, value added taxes (“VAT”) and similar taxes would likely increase the cost of doing business online and decrease the attractiveness of selling products and services over the Internet. New taxes could also create significant increases in internal costs necessary to capture data and collect and remit taxes. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

Taxing authorities may successfully assert that we should have collected or in the future should collect sales and use, occupancy, VAT or similar taxes, and we could be subject to liability with respect to past or future sales, which could adversely affect our operating results.

 

We do not collect and remit sales and use, occupancy, VAT or similar taxes in all jurisdictions in which we have sales, based on our belief that such taxes are not applicable or legally required. Several states and other taxing jurisdictions have presented or threatened us with assessments, alleging that we are required to collect and remit certain taxes there. While we do not believe that we are subject to such taxes and intend to vigorously defend our position in these cases, we cannot be sure of the outcome of our discussions and/or appeals with these states or cases that are pending in the courts. In the event of an adverse outcome, we could face assessments for additional time periods since the last assessments we received, plus any additional interest and penalties. We also expect additional jurisdictions may make similar assessments or pass similar new laws in the future, and any of the jurisdictions where we have sales may apply more rigorous enforcement efforts or take more aggressive positions in the future that could result in greater tax liability allegations. Such tax assessments, penalties and interest or future requirements may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

We continue to be subject to significant potential tax liabilities in connection with the Spin-Off.

Under the Tax Sharing Agreement between us and Expedia entered into in connection with the Spin-Off, we are generally required to indemnify Expedia for any taxes resulting from the Spin-Off (and any related interest, penalties, legal and professional fees, and all costs and damages associated with related stockholder litigation or controversies) to the extent such amounts resulted from (i) any act or failure to act by us described in the covenants in the tax sharing agreement, (ii) any acquisition of our equity securities or assets or those of a member of our group, or (iii) any failure of the representations with respect to us or any member of our group to be true or any breach by

 

28


 

us or any member of our group of any covenant, in each case, which is contained in the separation documents or in the documents relating to the IRS private letter ruling and/or the opinion of counsel.

We continue to be responsible for potential tax liabilities in connection with consolidated income tax returns filed with Expedia prior to or in connection with the Spin-Off. By virtue of previously filed consolidated tax returns with Expedia, we are currently under IRS audit for the 2009, 2010, and 2011 tax years. In connection with that audit, we received, in January 2017 and April 2019, Notices of Proposed Adjustment from the IRS for the 2009, 2010, and 2011 tax years, which would result in an increase in our worldwide income tax expense. The proposed adjustments would result in a reimbursement to Expedia in an estimated range totaling $15 million to $20 million for those specific years related to the pre spin-off years after consideration of competent authority relief, exclusive of interest and penalties. The outcome of these matters or any other audits could subject us to significant tax liabilities.

We are subject to fluctuation in foreign currency exchange risk.

We conduct a significant and growing portion of our business outside the United States but report our results in U.S. dollars. As a result, we face exposure to movements in foreign currency exchange rates, particularly those related to the Euro, British pound, and Australian dollar. These exposures include, but are not limited to, re-measurement of gains and losses from changes in the value of foreign denominated assets and liabilities; translation gains and losses on foreign subsidiary financial results that are translated into U.S. dollars upon consolidation; and planning risk related to changes in exchange rates between the time we prepare our annual and quarterly forecasts and when actual results occur. For example, Brexit caused significant volatility in currency exchange rates, especially between the U.S. dollar and the British pound. Continued uncertainty regarding the final terms of Brexit may result in future exchange rate volatility. In addition, in the event that one or more European countries were to replace the Euro with another currency, our sales into such countries, or into Europe generally, would likely be adversely affected until stable exchange rates are established. Accordingly, fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, such as the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the Euro or the British pound, could adversely affect our net revenue growth in future periods.

Depending on the size of the exposures and the relative movements of exchange rates, if we were to choose not to hedge or were to fail to hedge effectively our exposure, we could experience a material adverse effect on our financial statements and financial condition. As seen in some recent periods, in the event of severe volatility in exchange rates the impact of these exposures can increase, and the impact on results of operations can be more pronounced. In addition, the current environment and the increasingly global nature of our business have made hedging these exposures both more complex. We hedge certain short-term foreign currency exposures with the purchase of forward exchange contracts. These forward exchange contracts only help mitigate the impact of changes in foreign currency rates that occur during the term of the related contract period and carry risks of counter-party failure. There can be no assurance that our forward exchange contracts will have their intended effects.

Significant fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates can affect consumer travel behavior. Volatility in foreign currency exchange rates and its impact on consumer behavior, which may differ across regions, makes it more difficult to forecast industry and consumer trends and the timing and degree of their impact on our markets and business, which in turn could adversely affect our ability to effectively manage our business and adversely affect our results of operations.

Risks Related to Ownership of our Common Stock

Liberty Tripadvisor Holdings, Inc. currently is a controlling stockholder.

Liberty Tripadvisor Holdings, Inc., or LTRIP, effectively controls the outcome of all matters submitted to a vote or for the consent of our stockholders (other than with respect to the election by the holders of our common stock of 25% of the members of our Board of Directors and matters as to which Delaware law requires separate class votes), including but not limited to, corporate transactions such as mergers, business combinations or dispositions of assets, the authorization or issuance of new equity or debt securities and determinations with respect to our business direction and policies. Our Chairman, Gregory Maffei, and one of our Directors, Albert Rosenthaler,

 

29


 

also serve as officers and directors of LTRIP. LTRIP may have interests that differ from those of our other stockholders and they may vote in a way with which our other stockholders may not agree or that may be adverse to other stockholders’ interests. LTRIP is not restricted from investing in other businesses involving or related to our business. LTRIP’s control of us, as well as the existing provisions of our organizational documents and Delaware law, may discourage or prevent a change of control that might otherwise be beneficial, which may reduce the market price of our common stock.

The market price and trading volume of our common stock may be volatile and may face negative pressure.

Our stock price has experienced, and could continue to experience in the future, substantial volatility. The market price of our common stock is affected by a number of factors, including the risk factors described in this section and other factors beyond our control. Factors affecting the trading price of our common stock could include:

 

Quarterly variations in our or our competitors’ results of operations;

 

Changes in earnings estimates or recommendations by securities analysts;

 

Failure to meet market expectations;

 

The announcement of new products or product enhancements by us or our competitors;

 

Repurchases of our common stock pursuant to our share repurchase program which could also cause our stock price to be higher than it would be in the absence of such a program and could potentially reduce the market liquidity for our stock;

 

Developments in our industry, including changes in governmental regulations; and

 

General market conditions and other factors, including factors related to our operating performance or the operating performance of our competitors.

Furthermore, the stock markets have experienced price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many companies. These fluctuations often have been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. These broad market and industry fluctuations and general economic, political and market conditions, such as recessions, interest rate changes or foreign currency exchange fluctuations, may negatively impact the market price of our common stock regardless of our actual operating performance.

We are currently relying on the “controlled company” exemption under NASDAQ Stock Market Listing Rules, pursuant to which “controlled companies” are exempt from certain corporate governance requirements otherwise applicable under NASDAQ listing rules.

The NASDAQ Stock Market Listing Rules exempt “controlled companies,” or companies of which more than 50% of the voting power is held by an individual, a group or another company, from certain corporate governance requirements, including those requirements that:

 

A majority of the Board of Directors consist of independent directors;

 

Compensation of officers be determined or recommended to the Board of Directors by a majority of its independent directors or by a compensation committee comprised solely of independent directors; and

 

Director nominees be selected or recommended to the Board of Directors by a majority of its independent directors or by a nominating committee that is composed entirely of independent directors.

We currently rely on the controlled company exemption for certain of the above requirements. Accordingly, our stockholders will not be afforded the same protections generally as stockholders of other NASDAQ-listed companies with respect to corporate governance for so long as we rely on these exemptions from the corporate governance requirements.

 

30


 

We do not pay regular quarterly or annual cash dividends on our stock.

Although the Company's Board of Directors declared, on November 1, 2019, a special cash dividend of $3.50 per share, or approximately $488 million in the aggregate, we do not pay regular quarterly or annual cash dividends.  Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our results of operations, earnings, capital requirements, financial condition, future prospects, contractual restrictions and other factors deemed relevant by our Board of Directors. Therefore, investors should not rely on regular quarterly or annual dividend income from shares of our common stock and investors should not rely on special dividends with any regularity or at all. Investors should rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize future gains on their investments.  

Future sales of shares of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that such sales may occur, may depress our stock price.

Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market, particularly sales by our directors, officers, employees and significant stockholders, or the perception that these sales might occur, could depress the market price of our common stock and could impact our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities.  In addition, certain stockholders have rights, subject to some conditions, to require us to file registration statements covering their shares or to include their shares in registration statements that we may file for ourselves or other stockholders. If LTRIP or some other stockholder sells substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market, or if there is a perception in the public market that LTRIP might sell shares of our common stock, the market price of our common stock could decrease significantly. A decline in the price of shares of our common stock might impede our ability to raise capital through the issuance of additional shares of our common stock or other equity securities.

Anti-takeover provisions in our organizational documents and Delaware law may discourage or prevent a change of control, even if an acquisition would be beneficial to our stockholders, which could affect our stock price adversely and prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.

Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change of control of our company or changes in our Board of Directors that our stockholders might consider favorable. These provisions include:

 

Authorization and issuance of Class B common stock that entitles holders to ten votes per share;

 

Authorization of the issuance of preferred stock which can be created and issued by the Board of Directors without prior stockholder approval, with rights senior to those of our common stock;

 

Prohibiting our stockholders from filling board vacancies or calling special stockholder meetings; and

 

Limiting who may call special meetings of stockholders.

We are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which may prohibit certain business combinations with stockholders owning 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock. These and other provisions in our certificate of incorporation, bylaws and Delaware law could make it more difficult for stockholders or potential acquirers to obtain control of our Board of Directors or initiate actions that are opposed by our then-current Board of Directors, including a merger, tender offer or proxy contest involving our company. Any delay or prevention of a change of control transaction or changes in our Board of Directors could cause the market price of our common stock to decline.  

 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

 

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Item 2.

Properties

We currently lease approximately 280,000 square feet for our corporate headquarters in Needham, Massachusetts, or Headquarters Lease, pursuant to a lease with an expiration date of December 2030, with an option to extend the lease term for two consecutive terms of five years each. We also lease an aggregate of approximately 505,000 square feet of office space in approximately 50 other locations across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and South America, in cities such as New York, Boston, London, Sydney, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Paris, primarily for our sales offices, subsidiary headquarters, and international management teams, pursuant to leases with various expiration dates. We believe that our current facilities are adequate for our current operations and that additional leased space can be obtained on reasonable terms if needed. We do not legally own any real estate as of December 31, 2019.

Item 3.

In the ordinary course of business, we are parties to legal proceedings and claims involving alleged infringement of third-party intellectual property rights, defamation, taxes, regulatory compliance and other claims. Rules and regulations promulgated by the SEC require the description of material pending legal proceedings, other than ordinary, routine litigation incident to the registrant’s business, and advise that proceedings ordinarily need not be described if they primarily involve damages claims for amounts (exclusive of interest and costs) not individually exceeding 10% of the current assets of the registrant and its subsidiaries on a consolidated basis. In the judgment of management, none of the pending litigation matters that we are defending involves or is likely to involve amounts of that magnitude. There may be claims or actions pending or threatened against us of which we are currently not aware and the ultimate disposition of which could have a material adverse effect on us.

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

 

 

PART II

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our common stock is quoted on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “TRIP.” Our Class B common stock is not listed and there is no established public trading market for that security. As of February 12, 2020, all of our Class B common stock was held by LTRIP.

 

32


 

Performance Comparison Graph

The following graph provides a comparison of the total stockholder return from December 31, 2014 to December 31, 2019, of an investment of $100 in cash on December 31, 2014 for Tripadvisor, Inc. common stock and an investment of $100 in cash on December 31, 2013 for (i) the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index (the “S&P 500 Index”), (ii) the NASDAQ Composite Index, and (iii) the Research Data Group (“RDG”) Internet Composite Index. The RDG Internet Composite Index is an index of stocks representing the internet industry, including internet software and service companies and e-commerce companies. The stock price performance shown on the graph below is not necessarily indicative of future price performance. Data for the S&P 500 Index, the NASDAQ Composite Index, and the RDG Internet Composite Index assume reinvestment of dividends.

 

This performance comparison graph is not “soliciting material,” is not deemed filed with the SEC and is not deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing of Tripadvisor, Inc. under the Securities Act or any filing under the Exchange Act.

Holders of Record

As of February 12, 2020, there were 123,286,835 outstanding shares of our common stock held by 2,135 stockholders of record, and 12,799,999 outstanding shares of our Class B common stock held by one stockholder of record: LTRIP.

 

33


 

Dividends

On November 1, 2019, the Company's Board of Directors declared a special cash dividend of $3.50 per share, or approximately $488 million in the aggregate. The dividend was payable on December 4, 2019 to stockholders of record on November 20, 2019. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our results of operations, earnings, capital requirements, financial condition, future prospects, contractual restrictions and other factors deemed relevant by our Board of Directors. Therefore, investors should not rely on regular quarterly or annual dividend income from shares of our common stock and investors should not rely on special dividends with any regularity, or at all. Investors should rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize future gains on their investments.

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

The information required under this item is incorporated herein by reference to our 2020 Proxy Statement, which proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission not later than 120 days after the close of our fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.

Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities

During the year ended December 31, 2019, we did not issue or sell any shares of our common stock, Class B common stock or other equity securities pursuant to unregistered transactions in reliance upon an exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

On January 31, 2018, Tripadvisor’s Board of Directors authorized up to $250 million of share repurchases. Our Board of Directors authorized and directed management, working with the Executive Committee of our Board of Directors, to affect the share repurchase program in compliance with applicable legal requirements. As of December 31, 2018, we had $150 million remaining available to repurchase shares of our common stock under this share repurchase program. On November 1, 2019, our Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of an additional $100 million in shares of our common stock under our existing share repurchase program, which increased the amount available to the Company under this share repurchase program to $250 million. As of December 31, 2019, we had approximately $190 million available to repurchase shares of our common stock under this share repurchase program. This repurchase program has no expiration date but may be suspended or terminated by the Board of Directors at any time.

 

34


 

A summary of information regarding our common stock repurchases during the fourth quarter of 2019 is set forth in the table below:

Period

 

Total Number of Shares Purchased

 

 

Average Price Paid per Share (1)

 

Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs

 

 

Maximum Number (or approximate U.S. dollar value) of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs

 

October 1 to October 31

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

$

 

150,000,033

 

November 1 to November 30

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

$

 

250,000,033

 

December 1 to December 31

 

 

2,059,846

 

 

$

29.32

 

 

2,059,846

 

 

$

 

189,601,661

 

Total

 

 

2,059,846

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,059,846

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   (1) Exclusive of fees and commission

 

 

 

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

We have derived the following selected financial data presented below from our consolidated financial statements and related notes. The information set forth below is not necessarily indicative of future results and should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing in Item 8 “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” and Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected in any future period.

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

 

(in millions, except per share data)

 

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

$

1,560

 

 

$

1,615

 

 

$

1,556

 

 

$

1,480

 

 

$

1,492

 

Total costs and expenses

 

 

1,373

 

 

 

1,432

 

 

 

1,432

 

 

 

1,314

 

 

 

1,260

 

Operating income

 

 

187

 

 

 

183

 

 

 

124

 

 

 

166

 

 

 

232

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

194

 

 

 

173

 

 

 

110

 

 

 

151

 

 

 

239

 

Net income (loss) (1)

 

 

126

 

 

 

113

 

 

 

(19

)

 

 

120

 

 

 

198

 

Earnings (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

0.91

 

 

$

0.82

 

 

$

(0.14

)

 

$

0.83

 

 

$

1.38

 

Diluted

 

 

0.89

 

 

 

0.81

 

 

 

(0.14

)

 

 

0.82

 

 

 

1.36

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

139

 

 

 

138

 

 

 

140

 

 

 

145

 

 

 

144

 

Diluted

 

 

141

 

 

 

140

 

 

 

140

 

 

 

147

 

 

 

146

 

Cash dividends declared per common share (2)

 

$

3.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35


 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

 

(in millions)

 

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents, short and long-term

   marketable securities (2)

 

$

319

 

 

$

670

 

 

$

735

 

 

$

746

 

 

$

698

 

Working capital (2)

 

 

98

 

 

 

522

 

 

 

621

 

 

 

527

 

 

 

553

 

Total assets

 

 

1,984

 

 

 

2,167

 

 

 

2,272

 

 

 

2,238

 

 

 

2,128

 

Long-term debt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

230

 

 

 

91

 

 

 

200

 

Other long-term obligations under long-term lease liabilities (3)

 

 

142

 

 

 

83

 

 

 

84

 

 

 

84

 

 

 

84

 

Total liabilities (3)

 

 

823

 

 

 

696

 

 

 

909

 

 

 

736

 

 

 

716

 

Total stockholders’ equity (2)

 

 

1,161

 

 

 

1,471

 

 

 

1,363

 

 

 

1,502

 

 

 

1,412

 

 

(1)

The year ended December 31, 2017 reflects $67 million of tax expense recorded for the mandatory deemed repatriation of accumulative foreign earnings (the “Transition Tax”) and $6 million of tax expense recorded for the remeasurement of deferred taxes related to the 2017 Tax Act enacted on December 22, 2017. Refer to “Note 11: Income Taxes” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements in Item 8 on this Annual Report on Form10-K for further information on the financial statement impact of the 2017 Tax Act.

(2)

The Company declared a special cash dividend on November 1, 2019 to stockholders of record on November 20, 2019. An amount of $488 million in the aggregate was paid to common stockholders on December 4, 2019 from cash on hand.  

(3)

Amount includes certain operating leases as of January 1, 2019. Refer to “Note 2: Significant Accounting Policies” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements in Item 8 on this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further information on our leases, including transition accounting and updated accounting policies upon adoption of ASC 842, Leases (“ASC 842”) on January 1, 2019.

 

 

Item 7.Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Overview

Tripadvisor is a leading online travel company and our mission is to help people around the world plan, book and experience the perfect trip. We operate a global travel platform that connects the world’s largest audience of prospective travelers with travel partners through rich content, price comparison tools, and online reservation and related services for destinations, accommodations, travel activities and experiences, and restaurants.

Under our flagship brand, Tripadvisor, we launched www.Tripadvisor.com in the United States in 2000. Since then, we have launched localized versions of the Tripadvisor website in 48 markets and 28 languages worldwide. Tripadvisor features 859 million reviews and opinions on 8.6 million places to stay, places to eat and things to do – including 1.4 million hotels, inns, B&Bs and specialty lodging, 842,000 rental properties, 5.2 million restaurants and 1.2 million travel activities and experiences worldwide. Tripadvisor’s rich content and engaged community attract the world’s largest travel audience, based on monthly unique visitors, including 463 million average monthly unique visitors in the third quarter of 2019 during the peak summer travel season.

In addition to the flagship Tripadvisor brand, we own and operate a portfolio of websites and businesses, connected by the common goal of providing consumers the most comprehensive travel-planning and trip-taking resources in the travel industry. For additional information about our portfolio of brands and our business model, see the disclosure set forth in Part I, Item 1. “Business”, under the caption “Overview.”

During the first quarter of 2019, as part of our continuous review of the business, we evaluated our operations and realigned the reportable segment information which our chief operating decision maker, or CODM, regularly assesses to evaluate performance for operating decision-making purposes, including evaluation and allocation of resources. The CODM for the Company is our Chief Executive Officer. The revised segment reporting structure includes the following reportable segments: (1) Hotels, Media & Platform; and (2) Experiences & Dining. For

 

36


 

further information on our segments, including the change in segments, and principal revenue streams within these segments refer to “Note 1: Organization and Business Description” and “Note 18: Segment and Geographic Information in the notes to our consolidated financial statements in Item 8 on this Annual Report on Form 10-K. All prior period segment disclosure information has been reclassified to conform to the current reporting structure in this Form 10-K. These reclassifications had no effect on our consolidated financial statements in any period.

Executive Financial Summary and Business Trends

Tripadvisor is the world’s largest online travel site, as measured by average unique monthly visitors. As a result, Tripadvisor represents an attractive platform for travel partners – including hotel chains, independent hoteliers, OTAs, destination marketing organizations, and other travel-related and non-travel related product and service providers – who seek to market and sell their products and services to a global audience. Tripadvisor’s platform and product offerings enable consumers to discover, research and price shop a variety of travel products, including hotels, flights, cruises, cars, vacation rental properties, tours, travel activities and experiences, and restaurants; and book a number of these travel experiences either directly on our websites or mobile apps, or on our travel partners’ websites or mobile apps. Key drivers of our financial results are described below, including current trends affecting our business, and our segment reporting information.

 

Business Trends 

The online travel industry in which we operate is large and growing and also remains highly dynamic and competitive. Our overall strategy is to deliver more value to consumers and travel partners in order to generate more monetization on our platform. While we operate with a long-term growth focus, our specific growth objectives and resource allocation strategies can differ in both duration and magnitude within our reportable segments. We describe these dynamics, as well as other trends in our business, below.

Hotels, Media & Platform Segment

We operate the Hotels, Media & Platform segment for profit while also driving increased customer and client engagement with – and high-margin media advertising revenue from – the Tripadvisor platform. We seek to achieve this by delivering consumers a holistic product experience and by offering travel partners a diversified number of advertising opportunities.

For consumers, we seek to implement product enhancements that deliver a more engaging and comprehensive hotel shopping experience. This includes providing rich, immersive content – reviews, photos, videos and ratings, among other contributions – as well as increasing the number of travel partners and properties as well as the available hotel supply on our platform. We believe providing consumers tools to discover, research, price shop and book a comprehensive selection of accommodations, helps increase brand awareness and brand loyalty and, over time, can result in deeper consumer engagement, more qualified leads delivered to travel partners and greater monetization on our platform.

We seek to monetize our influence and achieve revenue growth through hotel-related product improvements, supply and marketing efforts and customer advertising opportunities. We rely heavily on search engines, such as Google, to generate a significant amount of hotel shoppers to our websites, principally through SEM as well as through SEO. We define hotel shoppers as visitors who view either a listing of hotels in a city or on a specific hotel page. Given our ongoing focus on Hotels, Media & Platform profitability, a key ongoing objective is to attract or acquire hotel shoppers at or above our desired marketing return on investment targets. To that end, starting in mid-2017, we began to reduce inefficient direct selling and marketing investments on paid online channels, primarily SEM, to improve profitability. This reduced the number of hotel shoppers to our platform and reduced Tripadvisor-branded hotels revenue specifically in our hotel metasearch auction into 2019, while generating meaningful overall Hotels, Media & Platform segment profit growth and margin expansion, including year-over-year profit growth during both the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Following moderate revenue growth resulting from SEO during 2018, we experienced revenue headwinds in this marketing channel in 2019 and expect this trend to continue, which we believe is impacted by search engines (primarily Google) increasing the prominence of their own hotel products in search results. We believe executing our long-term growth strategy can enable us to deepen customer engagement on our platform, monetize our influence and stabilize – and eventually grow – Hotels,

 

37


 

Media & Platform segment revenue. For example, in Tripadvisor-branded display and platform revenue, we enable travel partners to amplify their brand, generate brand impressions, and potentially drive qualified leads and bookings for their businesses. Historically, we have limited both the type and number of display-based advertising opportunities we make available to travel partners, particularly on mobile phone, which, in turn, has limited display-based advertising revenue growth. However, we are working on initiatives to better leverage our audience, content, data, travel influence and platform breadth to open up new media advertising opportunities through a more modern, high-powered advertising suite spanning native, video and programmatic solutions. We also intend to deliver this broadened solution to a larger set of advertising travel endemic and non-travel endemic advertising partners, including industries such as airlines, finance and beauty.

In addition, we are focused on initiatives to increase our traffic quality and deepen customer engagement on our platform, including membership growth, personalization, and mobile app initiatives we believe can lead to increased monetization over time in this segment. For example, there remains not only an opportunity to continue to grow our member base, but also to deepen member engagement by making membership more valued, through building communities and leveraging our content to further personalize trip-planning features.

Experiences & Dining Segment

During 2019, our Experiences & Dining segment growth strategy prioritized near-term investments for platform expansion and bookings and revenue growth. We increased investments in product, supply and marketing to enhance our long-term growth prospects. We have done this by, for example, growing bookable supply in newer experience categories in lower-priced options, such as events, tickets, and other experiences, and also non-English markets and mobile offerings. These categories have grown rapidly, and has added to our total bookable experience products which reached approximately 345,000 as of December 31, 2019.  We believe offering consumers more selection can contribute to our goals to build deeper, more durable consumer relationships with our platform.

We also continue to seek selective acquisition opportunities in this segment. For example, in December 2019, we acquired U.K.-based Bookatable, which offers an online restaurant reservation and booking platform. This further strengthens our position in certain of our existing European markets as well as expands us into new countries, such as the U.K., Germany, Austria, Finland and Norway. Once fully integrated, Bookatable should add approximately 14,000 more restaurants to TheFork’s online restaurant booking platform, which, including Bookatable, had approximately 84,000 total bookable restaurants, as of December 31, 2019.

Over the long-term, our Experiences and Dining offerings enable us to deliver consumers a more comprehensive experience, which we believe will increase awareness of, loyalty to, and engagement with our products, drive more bookings to Experiences and Dining partners and generate greater revenue and increased profitability on our platform. Given the significant market opportunities in these large and growing categories, as well as competition aiming to provide consumers a similar multimodal experience, we expect to continue to invest to drive bookings and revenue growth.

Other

Other is a combination of our Rentals, Flights/Cruises/Car, SmarterTravel, and Tripadvisor China business units and is not considered a reportable segment. Profits have been relatively stable to positive and revenues have declined in recent periods primarily due to strategic re-alignments and resource re-allocation to other areas of our business. We operate these offerings opportunistically as they complement our overall strategic objectives to deliver more value to consumers and travel partners.

Consolidated Results of Operations

 

A discussion regarding our financial condition and results of operations for fiscal year 2019 compared to fiscal year 2018 is presented below. A discussion regarding our financial condition and results of operations for fiscal year 2018 compared to fiscal year 2017 can be found in Part II, Item 7. "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, filed with the SEC on February 22, 2019 (our “2018 Annual Report”). As previously noted, we revised our

 

38


 

reportable segments during 2019. Although not required, in order to complement our revenue discussion of fiscal year 2018 compared to fiscal year 2017 in our 2018 Annual Report for investors, we presented below summary commentary describing the key drivers of revenue performance related to our principal revenue sources during that time frame conformed to our revised reportable segment structure.

 

Results of Operations

Selected Financial Data

(in millions, except per share amounts and percentages)

 

 

 

Year ended December 31,

 

 

% Change

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2019 vs. 2018

 

 

2018 vs. 2017

 

Revenue

 

$

1,560

 

 

$

1,615

 

 

$

1,556

 

 

 

(3

)%

 

 

4

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Costs and expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of revenue

 

 

94

 

 

 

86

 

 

 

72

 

 

 

9

%

 

 

19

%

Selling and marketing

 

 

672

 

 

 

778

 

 

 

849

 

 

 

(14

)%

 

 

(8

)%

Technology and content

 

 

294

 

 

 

275

 

 

 

243

 

 

 

7

%

 

 

13

%

General and administrative

 

 

187

 

 

 

177

 

 

 

157

 

 

 

6

%

 

 

13

%

Depreciation

 

 

93

 

 

 

82

 

 

 

79

 

 

 

13

%

 

 

4

%

Amortization of intangible assets

 

 

33

 

 

 

34

 

 

 

32

 

 

 

(3

)%

 

 

6

%

Total costs and expenses

 

 

1,373

 

 

 

1,432

 

 

 

1,432

 

 

 

(4

)%

 

 

0

%

Operating income

 

 

187

 

 

 

183

 

 

 

124

 

 

 

2

%

 

 

48

%

Other income (expense):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest expense

 

 

(7

)

 

 

(12

)

 

 

(15

)

 

 

(42

)%

 

 

(20

)%

Interest income

 

 

17

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

143

%

 

 

600

%

Other income (expense), net

 

 

(3

)

 

 

(5

)

 

 

 

 

 

(40

)%

 

n.m.

 

Total other income (expense), net

 

 

7