French global hotel giant Accor has taken over Fastbooking, the French market leader in helping hotels market directly to guests via the Internet, the companies revealed today.

The deal has received a blessing from the French commerce tribunal, Les Echo reports. Its value is unknown. Last year Fastbooking had Euros 20 million of turnover.

Fastbooking serves more than 3,500 hotels, mostly in Europe and Asia, with a website builder, a channel manager, digital marketing campaigns, and business intelligence software.

Rumors of the acquisition have been floating for some time thanks to a mid-March report in Les Echos, but Fastbooking denied them.

A company that’s been in play

Back in October 2014, IHS Worldwide CEO Steve Rowley told a travel conference his company IHS, backed by venture capital firm Battery Ventures, was buying Fastbooking. The IHS deal never went through.

Accor needs to fend off online travel agency challengers, especially The third-party sites combined sold 17% of overnight stays at 3,700 Accor hotels last year — a share that has been increasing and cutting into the margins of the global group.

Accor CEO Sébastien Bazin said in a statement: “The take-over of FASTBOOKING will help speed up the implementation of our digital strategy.”

The five-year Euros 225 million digital transformation was revealed last October, during the acquisition of Wipolo, a web and mobile platform which managing trip itineraries, linking them with Facebook and Twitter.

Accor also said today: “Fastbooking will operate independently within Accor. Confidentiality of data relating to its client hotels will be fully preserved.”

Recently, Fastbooking CEO Jean-Gérard Galvez’s company established a partnership with Ctrip, allowing customers of Chinese giant online travel agency to book into some 8,000 hotels using Fastbooking systems.

The company had 1.2 million transactions last year, but it was losing momentum. Earlier in the year it gave up dedicated service to 25 individual sites to focus on B2B tools generally.

Original article source: Tnooz