So the FTC have finally given the green light for Hertz to complete its buyout of Dtag (Dollar Thrifty). The deal which I’ve been writing about for close to 2 years received FTC approval with a vote of 4-1 on Friday and mean’s Hertz will now become the second largest USA car hire company.
However the FTC who were rightly concerned about restriction of competition in the U.S. have asked for a few compromises before agreeing to the deal.
Advantage Rent A Car Sale
The main compromise was the sale of Hertz’s value product; Advantage Rent A Car to the organisation who currently own U-Save Car Rental and Rent A Wreck for $16 million, half the sum that Hertz originally paid for it.
Although the diluting of one of Hertz’s brands was seen as a positive step, doubters still believed that this wasn’t going far enough, the main reason being cited was “can the Franchise Services of North America, Inc. (FSNA) compete with the likes of Avis/Budget and Enterprise?”
Well no, they can’t really and one of the reasons is getting hold of airport locations. The FTC were also concerned that the Hertz Dollar deal would impact airports hugely with Hertz at some locations being represented by 3 well known brands.
So part of the agreement has seen Hertz agree to give up some of their prime airport locations I was originally told it would be 15 or 16 locations but reports have now confirmed that Hertz have agreed to give up 29 Dollar Thrifty locations.
16 of these airport locations will be sold to FSNA the other 13 locations will be sold to another party to be determined before the deal is finalised.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said.
American consumers rent more than 50 million vehicles at airports nationwide each year, spending $11 billion, so this is a real pocketbook issue for everyday people. Today’s bipartisan action by the FTC will ensure that consumers are not forced to pay higher prices for rental cars when they travel.
As I have mentioned before the deal has concerned many as the car rental market alters from 4 competing firms to 3 with no other supplier really armed to even compete on an even scale.
Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch the only FTC member to vote no explained
I voted against acceptance of the consent decree because I found it inadequate to resolve the competitive concerns at several dozen other airports affected by the transaction. I would have instead voted to challenge the transaction because of the significant risk of post-merger coordinated interaction among the remaining competitors.
usrentacar.co.uk facebook community also felt the deal was problematic and voted narrowly against the deal in our online poll.
I guess only time will tell as the proposed deal is open to public comment until the 17th December.
What do you think?