TripAdvisor Reportedly to Lay Off 200 as Competition With Google Heats Up

TripAdvisor is laying off nearly 5% of its workforce, according to a report.
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TripAdvisor (TRIP) - Get Report shares recovered from a deeper swoon Thursday but were still trading in the red on a report that the travel site was laying off 200 employees amid increased competition from Google (GOOGL) - Get Report.

A round of layoffs that large would represent nearly 5% of TripAdvisor’s total workforce of just more than 3,800 as of the end of September, according to Bloomberg.

The company didn't respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment, instead pointing the news service to a section of a recent earnings conference call in which the company said it was “prudently reducing and re-allocating expenses in certain parts of our business to preserve strong profitability.”

Google has upgraded its travel search tools in recent years to compete with trip booking websites like TripAdvisor and Priceline.

In its last earnings release, TripAdvisor noted that Google has placed ads at the top of its search results, forcing companies like it to buy more ads.

The company had a rough third quarter, reporting adjusted earnings of 58 cents a share, down from 72 cents a year earlier and short of analysts’ estimates of 69 cents.

The company said that the disappointing quarter was partially due to the fact that “Google (is) pushing its own hotel products in search results and siphoning off quality traffic that would otherwise find TripAdvisor via free links and generate high margin revenue in our hotel click-based auction.”

“Google has got more aggressive. We’re not predicting that it’s going to turn around,” TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer said at the time.

TripAdvisor shares were down 0.5% to $30.10 on Thursday.