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Orbitz, Enterprise car rentals part ways

By Marnie Hunter, CNN
Enterprise, Alamo and National rental cars won't be listed on Orbitz after April 1.
Enterprise, Alamo and National rental cars won't be listed on Orbitz after April 1.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Enterprise, National and Alamo rental cars will no longer be listed on Orbitz
  • Enterprise says Orbitz's position "makes renting a car less affordable"
  • Orbitz said it has replaced Enterprise brands with other suppliers

(CNN) -- Enterprise Holdings and online travel portal Orbitz have ended their relationship.

Enterprise owns and operates nearly 1 million rental vehicles across its brands -- Enterprise, Alamo and National.

Orbitz said it would replace Alamo and National with Dollar and Thrifty rental cars, a decision reached "because it delivered better price points for our customers and better economics for our business," said Orbitz spokesman Jay Pierce.

Effective April 1, all the listings from Enterprise's brands will be pulled from Orbitz and sister site CheapTickets.

Enterprise announced the outcome of contract discussions on Wednesday, citing the online travel agent's "unacceptably high commission rates" to add its Enterprise brand to the site and a decision by Orbitz to drop National and Alamo from its listings.

"Their position greatly limits consumer choice and makes renting a car less affordable," said Pam Nicholson, Enterprise Holdings president and CEO.

Orbitz said it will continue to offer a full range of price points.

"Moving forward, we will continue to give to give customers choice among a robust selection of car rental options -- including Hertz, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, Advantage and other leading suppliers -- that will fully meet travelers' needs," the company said in a statement.

Enterprise Holdings vehicles may still be booked through the company's brand websites, other online travel sites and through travel agents, Enterprise's statement said.

The end of Orbitz's contract with Enterprise isn't the only negotiation with a major travel company to result in a parting of ways.

Orbitz has been involved in a dispute with American Airlines, which has been pushing to cut out intermediaries and channel business through its own distribution system. The carrier stopped offering its tickets on Orbitz late last year and has also stopped listing on Expedia and Hotwire.

Consumer analysts watching the airline distribution tug-of-war worry that taking away options for price comparison makes shopping for low air fares more difficult.

And this Enterprise development might make finding a deal on a car just a little bit harder, too.