ltrpa_Current folio_10K

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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, 2014 

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 001-36603

LIBERTY TRIPADVISOR HOLDINGS, INC. 

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

State of Delaware

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

46-3337365 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

12300 Liberty Boulevard

Englewood, Colorado

(Address of principal executive offices)

80112

(Zip Code)

Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (720) 875-5200

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

 

 

 

Title of each class

 

Name of exchange on which registered

Series A Common Stock, par value $.01 per share 

 

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

Series B Common Stock, par value $.01 per share

 

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

 

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 and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted 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 and post such files).  Yes     No 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of Registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer 

Accelerated filer 

Non-accelerated filer 

(do not check if

smaller reporting company)

Smaller reporting company 

 

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 voting stock held by non-affiliates of Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. computed by reference to the last sales price of such stock, as of the closing of trading on the last trading day prior to June 30, 2014, was zero. As of June 30, 2014, Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corporation.

The number of outstanding shares of Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc.'s common stock as of February 28, 2015 was:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Series A

 

Series B

 

Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. common stock

 

71,709,941

 

2,929,777

 

Documents Incorporated by Reference

The Registrant's definitive proxy statement for its 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders is hereby incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 

 


 

Table of Contents

LIBERTY TRIPADVISOR HOLDINGS, INC.

2014 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10K

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Part I

    

Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1. 

 

Business

 

I-1

 

Item 1A. 

 

Risk Factors

 

I-11

 

Item 1B. 

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

I-32

 

Item 2. 

 

Properties

 

I-32

 

Item 3. 

 

Legal Proceedings

 

I-32

 

Item 4. 

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

I-32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part II

 

 

 

Item 5. 

 

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

 

II-1

 

Item 6. 

 

Selected Financial Data

 

II-2

 

Item 7. 

 

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

 

II-3

 

Item 7A. 

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

II-17

 

Item 8. 

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

II-18

 

Item 9. 

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

II-18

 

Item 9A. 

 

Controls and Procedures

 

II-18

 

Item 9B. 

 

Other Information

 

II-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part III

 

 

 

Item 10. 

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

III-1

 

Item 11. 

 

Executive Compensation

 

III-1

 

Item 12. 

 

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

 

III-1

 

Item 13. 

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

III-1

 

Item 14. 

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

III-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part IV

 

 

 

Item 15. 

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

IV-1

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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PART I.

Item 1.  Business.

(a)General Development of Business

During October 2013, the Board of Directors of Liberty Interactive Corporation and its subsidiaries (“Liberty”) authorized a plan to distribute to the stockholders of Liberty’s Liberty Ventures common stock shares of a newly-formed company, Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. (“TripCo” or the “Company”) (the “Trip Spin-Off”). TripCo holds the subsidiaries TripAdvisor, Inc. (“TripAdvisor”) and BuySeasons, Inc., which includes the retail businesses of BuyCostumes.com and Celebrate Express (“BuySeasons”), both of which operate as stand-alone operating entities. Both TripAdvisor and BuySeasons have more revenue in the third quarter, based on a higher travel research period and the Halloween period, respectively, as compared to the other quarters of the year. The Trip Spin-Off was completed on August 27, 2014 and effected as a pro-rata dividend of shares of TripCo to the stockholders of Series A and Series B Liberty Ventures common stock of Liberty.

Spin-Off of TripCo from Liberty Interactive Corporation

Following the Trip Spin-Off, Liberty and TripCo operate as separate, publicly traded companies, and neither has any stock ownership, beneficial or otherwise, in the other. In connection with the Trip Spin-Off, TripCo entered into certain agreements, including the reorganization agreement, the services agreement, the facilities sharing agreement and the tax sharing agreement, with Liberty and/or Liberty Media Corporation (“Liberty Media”) (or certain of their subsidiaries) in order to govern certain of the ongoing relationships between the companies after the Trip Spin-Off and to provide for an orderly transition.

The reorganization agreement provides for, among other things, the principal corporate transactions (including the internal restructuring) required to effect the Trip Spin-Off, certain conditions to the Trip Spin-Off and provisions governing the relationship between TripCo and Liberty with respect to and resulting from the Trip Spin-Off.

Pursuant to the services agreement, Liberty Media provides TripCo with general and administrative services including legal, tax, accounting, treasury and investor relations support. TripCo will reimburse Liberty Media for direct, out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Liberty Media in providing these services and TripCo will pay a services fee to Liberty Media under the services agreement that will be subject to adjustment semi-annually, as necessary.  

Under the facilities sharing agreement, TripCo will share office space with Liberty, Liberty Media and Liberty Broadband Corporation (“LBC”) and related amenities at Liberty Media’s corporate headquarters in Englewood, Colorado.

The tax sharing agreement provides for the allocation and indemnification of tax liabilities and benefits between Liberty and TripCo and other agreements related to tax matters. Pursuant to the tax sharing agreement, TripCo has agreed to indemnify Liberty, subject to certain limited exceptions, for losses and taxes resulting from the Trip Spin-Off to the extent such losses or taxes result primarily from, individually or in the aggregate, the breach of certain restrictive covenants made by TripCo (applicable to actions or failures to act by TripCo and its subsidiaries following the completion of the Trip Spin-Off).

In October 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) completed its examination of the Trip Spin-Off and notified Liberty that it agreed with the nontaxable characterization of the transaction. Liberty expects to execute a Closing Agreement with the IRS documenting this conclusion in 2015.

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* * * * *

Certain statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding our business, product and marketing strategies; new service offerings; the recoverability of our goodwill and other long-lived assets; our projected sources and uses of cash; and the anticipated impact of certain contingent liabilities related to legal and tax proceedings and other matters arising in the ordinary course of business.  In particular, statements under Item 1. "Business," Item 1A. "Risk-Factors," Item 2. "Properties," Item 7. "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and Item 7A. "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" contain forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements inherently involve many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in these statements. Where, in any forward-looking statement, we express an expectation or belief as to future results or events, such expectation or belief is expressed in good faith and believed to have a reasonable basis, but such statements necessarily involve risks and uncertainties and there can be no assurance that the expectation or belief will result or be achieved or accomplished. The following include some but not all of the factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated:

·

customer demand for products and services and the ability of our company and our subsidiaries to adapt to changes in demand;

·

competitor responses to products and services;

·

the levels and quality of online traffic to our businesses’ websites and the ability of our subsidiaries to convert visitors into consumers or contributors;

·

the expansion of social integration and member acquisition efforts with social media by our subsidiaries;

·

the impact of changes in search engine algorithms and dynamics or search engine disintermediation;

·

uncertainties inherent in the development and integration of new business lines and business strategies;

·

our future financial performance, including availability, terms and deployment of capital;

·

our ability to successfully integrate and recognize anticipated efficiencies and benefits from the businesses we acquire;

·

the ability of suppliers and vendors to deliver products, equipment, software and services;

·

availability of qualified personnel;

·

changes in, or failure or inability to comply with, government regulations, including, without limitation, regulations of the FCC and adverse outcomes from regulatory proceedings;

·

changes in the business models of our subsidiaries;

·

changes in the nature of key strategic relationships with partners, distributors, suppliers and vendors;

·

domestic and international economic and business conditions and industry trends, including the current economic downturn and those which result in declines or disruptions in the travel industry;

·

consumer spending levels, including the availability and amount of individual consumer debt;

·

costs related to the maintenance and enhancement of brand awareness by our subsidiaries;

·

advertising spending levels;

·

rapid technological changes;

·

our failure, and the failure of our subsidiaries, to protect the security of personal information about customers, subjecting each of us to potentially costly government enforcement actions or private litigation and reputational damage;

·

the regulatory and competitive environment of the industries in which our subsidiaries operate;

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·

fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; and

·

threatened terrorist attacks, political unrest in international markets and ongoing military action around the world.

These forward-looking statements and such risks, uncertainties and other factors speak only as of the date of this Annual Report, and we expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein, to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto, or any other change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.  When considering such forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the factors described in Item 1A, "Risk Factors" and other cautionary statements contained in this Annual Report.  Such risk factors and statements describe circumstances which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.

This Annual Report includes information concerning, TripAdvisor, Inc., a public company in which we have a controlling interest that files reports and other information with the SEC in accordance with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”).  Information in this Annual Report concerning those companies has been derived from the reports and other information filed by them with the SEC.  If you would like further information about these companies, the reports and other information they file with the SEC can be accessed on the Internet website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov.  Those reports and other information are not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report.

(b)Financial Information About Operating Segments

Through our ownership of interests in subsidiaries and other companies, we are primarily engaged in the on-line travel research and on-line commerce industries.  Each of these businesses is separately managed.

We identify our reportable segments as (A) those consolidated subsidiaries that represent 10% or more of our annual consolidated revenue, Adjusted OIBDA or total assets and (B) those equity method affiliates whose share of earnings represent 10% or more of our annual pre-tax earnings.  Financial information related to our operating segments can be found in note 13 to our consolidated financial statements found in Part II of this report.

(c)Narrative Description of Business

TripAdvisor, Inc.

TripAdvisor owns and operates a portfolio of online travel brands. TripAdvisor is the world’s largest online travel company, based on comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, December 2014, empowering users to plan and maximize their travel experience. Its travel research platform aggregates reviews and opinions from its community of travelers about destinations, accommodations, activities and attractions, and restaurants throughout the world so that its users have access to trusted advice wherever their trip takes them. TripAdvisor’s platform not only helps users plan their trip with its unique user-generated content, but also enables users to compare real-time pricing and availability so that they can book hotels, vacation rentals, flights, activities and attractions, and restaurants. TripAdvisor’s-branded websites include tripadvisor.com in the United States and localized versions of the website in 45 countries, including in China under the brand daodao.com. Its branded websites globally reached more than 315 million monthly unique visitors during the year ended December 31, 2014, according to Google Analytics, and it features over 200 million reviews and opinions. Users may now also complete hotel bookings directly without TripAdvisor’s partners through tripadvisor.com and also through the TripAdvisor mobile application where coverage is available. In addition to the flagship TripAdvisor brand, TripAdvisor now manages and operates 24 travel media brands, connected by the common goal of providing users the most comprehensive travel-planning and travel-taking resources in the travel industry.

TripAdvisor was founded with the goal of providing an online resource based on user-generated content to prospective travelers. TripAdvisor has created a comprehensive online resource for user-generated content on destinations, lodging, restaurants and attractions. TripAdvisor provides real-time pricing and availability search functionality that compares hundreds of partner websites and enables users to book activities and attractions and make restaurant reservations

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through its site. The tools and information TripAdvisor provides are available in 28 different languages on web-based and mobile applications on personal computers and across all mobile devices. In order to achieve its goals, TripAdvisor leverages its key assets: a robust community of users, rich user-generated content, technology and a commitment to continuous innovation and global reach.

TripAdvisor derives substantially all of its revenue from the sale of advertising, primarily through click-based advertising and, to a lesser extent, display-based advertising. The remainder of its revenue is generated through a combination of subscription and transaction-based offerings, and other revenue including content licensing. In the year ended December 31, 2014, TripAdvisor earned $870 million of revenue from click-based advertising, $140 million in revenue from display-based advertising and $236 million in revenue from subscription-based offerings, transaction revenue and other revenue.

TripAdvisor has click-based advertising relationships with the vast majority of the leading online travel agencies globally as well as a variety of other travel suppliers pursuant to which these companies purchase traveler leads from it, generally on a CPC basis. These click-based advertising relationships are strategically important to it and most can be terminated by the advertiser at will or on short notice.

TripAdvisor’s systems infrastructure, web and database servers for TripAdvisor branded websites are housed at two geographically separate facilities and 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 its software components, data, and content are replicated in multiple datacenters and development centers, as well as being backed up at offsite locations. TripAdvisor’s systems are monitored and protected though multiple layers of security. Several of its individual subsidiaries and businesses, including its subsidiaries in China, have their own data infrastructure and technology teams.

Business Model

TripAdvisor’s platforms connect users wishing to plan and have the best travel experiences with providers of travel accommodations and travel services around the world. TripAdvisor derives the majority of its revenue from the sale of advertising, primarily through click-based advertising and, to a lesser extent, display-based advertising. The remainder of TripAdvisor’s revenue is generated through a combination of subscription and transaction-based offerings and other revenue including content licensing.

·

Click-Based Advertising Revenue.  TripAdvisor’s largest source of revenue is click-based advertising, which includes links to its partners’ booking sites and contextually-relevant branded and unbranded text links. Its click-based advertising partners are predominantly online travel agencies, or OTAs, and direct suppliers in the hotel, airline and cruise product categories. Click-based advertising is generally priced on a cost-per-click, or CPC, basis, with payments from advertisers based on the number of users who click on each type of link. CPC prices are determined in a bidding process that allows TripAdvisor’s partners to use its proprietary system to submit CPC bids to have their rates and availability listed on TripAdvisor’s site. When a partner submits a CPC bid they agree to pay the amount of that bid each time a user subsequently clicks on the URL link to the partner’s website. Bids are submitted periodically – sometimes as often as daily or weekly – on a property-by-property basis and the size of the bid relative to other bids received determines the partner’s placement in all meta placements on TripAdvisor’s site with one or more offers shown, including hotel comparison search results and the property detail page. The system is automated and the size of the partner’s bid is the only factor impacting the partner’s placement on that page, except that individual partners may be sorted lower in the event that they have not provided price information or if they cease to have availability for the property. While TripAdvisor enters into master advertising contracts with its partners, the terms of these agreements generally address matters such as privacy and compliance, payment terms and conditions, termination and indemnities.  Most of TripAdvisor’s click-based advertising contracts can be terminated by its partners at will or on short notice.    Click-based revenue also includes revenue from TripAdvisor’s new Instant Booking feature, which allows a partner to pay a commission rate for a user that completes a reservation on TripAdvisor.  TripAdvisor is not the merchant of record on Instant Booking

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reservations.  For the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, TripAdvisor earned $870 million, $696 million and $588 million,  respectively, of revenue from click-based advertising.

·

Display-Based Advertising Revenue.  TripAdvisor earns revenue from a variety of display-based advertising placements on its websites through which its advertising partners can promote their brands in a contextually-relevant manner. While its display-based advertising clients are predominately direct suppliers in the hotel, airline and cruise categories and online travel agencies, TripAdvisor also accepts display advertising from destination marketing organizations, casinos, resorts and attractions, as well as advertisers from non-travel categories. TripAdvisor generally sells its display-based advertising on a cost per thousand impressions, or CPM, basis. TripAdvisor’s display-based advertising products also include a number of custom-built features. For example, Delayed Ad Call, which charges customers only when the ad unit is in a users view, as well as certain customized co-branded features. For the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, TripAdvisor earned $140 million, $119 million and $94 million, respectively, in revenue from display-based advertising.

·

Subscription-Based, Transaction and Other Revenue.  Business Listings is a subscription-based advertising product offered to hotels, B&Bs and other specialty lodging properties. Managed by its TripAdvisor for Business team, this advertising product is sold for a flat fee and allows subscribers to list, for a contracted period of time, a website URL, email address and phone number on TripAdvisor-branded websites, as well as to post special offers for travelers. In addition, TripAdvisor earns revenue from making hotel room nights available for booking on its transactional sites, including its Jetsetter and Tingo brands, for which TripAdvisor is the merchant of record; making rentals available through its vacation rental business; selling destination activities through Viator; and online restaurant reservations through Lafourchette; as well as other revenue including content licensing with third-party sites. For the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, TripAdvisor earned $236 million,  $130 million and $81 million, respectively, in revenue from subscription-based, transaction and other revenue.

Strategic Relationships

Click-Based Advertisers

TripAdvisor has click-based advertising relationships with the vast majority of the leading online travel agencies as well as a variety of other travel suppliers, pursuant to which such companies purchase traveler leads from TripAdvisor, generally on a CPC basis. For the year ended December 31, 2014, TripAdvisor’s two most significant advertising customers, Expedia and Priceline (and their subsidiaries), each accounted for more than 10% of its total revenue and combined accounted for 46% of total revenue. These and its other click-based advertising relationships are strategically important to TripAdvisor and most can be terminated by the advertiser at will or on short notice.

Content-Related Partnerships

TripAdvisor has a content licensing program utilized by over 1,000 partners across the world, including hotel chains, online travel agents, tourist boards, airlines and media sites. TripAdvisor also distributes its content through self-service HTML widgets, which are used on the websites of hotels, restaurants, attractions and destination marketing organizations. These products, which are available at no cost in the TripAdvisor Management Center, allow businesses and destinations to promote themselves by displaying their TripAdvisor ratings, reviews and awards. TripAdvisor widgets are presently found on more than 150,000 unique domains around the globe, reaching over 800 million people per month. Partners benefit from its user-generated content, such as reviews, ratings, photos and traveler forums. In addition, TripAdvisor powers review collection for a growing number of partners, such as Accor Hotels, Wyndham Hotel Group, Best Western and Easytobook.com, enabling them to proactively collect reviews from their own customers post-stay in their own branded environment. TripAdvisor has also developed partnerships with mobile carriers and device manufacturers.

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Syndication Partners

TripAdvisor also syndicates its click-based advertising to third-party websites. The largest such syndication relationship is with Yahoo! Travel Guides, pursuant to which TripAdvisor provides “show prices” advertising on the Yahoo! Travel Guides’ hotel pages. Other syndication partners include Bing and Axel Springer.

Intellectual Property

TripAdvisor’s intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, domain names, trade dress, proprietary technology and trade secrets, is an important component of its business. TripAdvisor relies on its intellectual property rights in its content, proprietary technology, software code, ratings indexes, databases of reviews and forum content, images, videos, graphics and brands. TripAdvisor has acquired some of its intellectual property rights through licenses and content agreements with third parties. These licenses and agreements may place restrictions on its use of the intellectual property.

TripAdvisor protects its intellectual property by relying on its terms of use, confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions, as well as on international, national, state and common law rights. In addition, TripAdvisor enters into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with employees and contractors, and confidentiality agreements with other third parties. TripAdvisor protects its brands by pursuing the trademark registration of its core brands, such as TripAdvisor and the Owl Logo, maintaining its trademark portfolio, securing contractual trademark rights protection when appropriate, and relying on common law trademark rights when appropriate. TripAdvisor also registers copyrights and domain names as deemed appropriate. Additionally, TripAdvisor protects its trademarks, domain names and copyrights with the use of intellectual property licenses and an enforcement program.

Seasonality

Expenditures by travel advertisers tend to be seasonal. Traditionally, TripAdvisor’s strongest quarter has been the third quarter, which is a key travel research period, with the weakest quarter historically being the fourth quarter. However, adverse economic conditions or continued growth of TripAdvisor’s international operations with differing holiday peaks may influence the typical trend of its seasonality in the future.

Relationship between TripAdvisor and Expedia

After TripAdvisor’s spin-off from Expedia in 2011, Expedia was considered a related party under GAAP based on a number of factors, including, among others, common ownership of TripAdvisor’s shares and those of Expedia.  However, TripAdvisor no longer considers Expedia a related party.   For purposes of governing certain of the ongoing relationships between TripAdvisor and Expedia at and after the spin-off, and to provide for an orderly transition, TripAdvisor and Expedia entered into various agreements at the time of the spin-off, which TripAdvisor has satisfied its obligations. However, TripAdvisor continues to be subject to certain post-spin obligations under the Tax Sharing Agreement

Terms of Investment in TripAdvisor

We own an approximate 22% equity interest and 57% voting interest in TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor’s amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the holders of TripAdvisor common stock, acting as a single class, are entitled to elect a number of directors equal to 25% of the total number of directors, rounded up to the next whole number, which is currently three directors. As discussed previously we currently consolidate TripAdvisor as we control a majority of the voting interest in TripAdvisor. We are subject to a Governance Agreement with TripAdvisor which provides us with certain director nomination, registration and other rights and imposes certain restrictions on our shares of Class B common stock.

BuySeasons

BuySeasons is a wholly owned subsidiary of TripCo that owns and operates BuyCostumes.com and the Celebrate Express family of websites. Liberty acquired BuySeasons in 2006, which in turn acquired Celebrate Express in 2008. BuySeasons, an internet celebrations leader, provides a unique party offering by giving individuals the resources necessary

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to plan, execute and attend a wide variety of celebrations and costuming events. These resources include party supplies primarily through the retail websites which offer proprietary products through exclusive license agreements and costumes for a wide variety of occasions (the primary occasion is Halloween). BuySeasons purchases its products from various suppliers, both domestic and international. BuySeasons depends on five suppliers for approximately one half of its costumes, accessories, and party supplies. The loss of any of these suppliers could adversely impact stand alone financial results of BuySeasons.

BuySeasons’ business is highly seasonal with approximately half of its revenue earned from the sale of costumes in September and October leading up to Halloween. Since the acquisition of Celebrate Express, BuySeasons has seen the seasonality decrease slightly due to higher sales of birthday party supplies which is a less seasonal business. BuySeasons maintains a customer service center, at its corporate headquarters, and customer service representatives are available 16 hours a day, seven days a week during its busy season to respond to customer questions. The customer service center and warehouse staffing is scalable and BuySeasons employs seasonal labor to react to higher volume during the peak Halloween season.

Regulatory Matters

Internet Services

Our online commerce businesses are subject, both directly and indirectly, to various laws and governmental regulations. Certain of these businesses engaged in the provision of goods and services over the Internet must comply with federal and state laws and regulations applicable to online communications and commerce. For example, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prohibits web sites from collecting personally identifiable information online from children under age 13 without parental consent and imposes a number of operational requirements. In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) adopted revised COPPA regulations amending certain definitions and modifying certain operational requirements regarding notice and parental consent, among other matters. Certain email activities are subject to the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, commonly known as the CAN-SPAM Act. The CAN-SPAM Act regulates the sending of unsolicited commercial email by requiring the email sender, among other things, to comply with specific disclosure requirements and to provide an “opt-out” mechanism for recipients. Both of these laws include statutory penalties for non-compliance. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act limits, but does not eliminate, liability for listing or linking to third party websites that may include content that infringes on copyrights or other rights so long as our Internet businesses comply with the statutory requirements. Various states also have adopted laws regulating certain aspects of Internet communications. Congress has extended the moratorium on state and local taxes on Internet access and commerce until October 1, 2015. Legislative proposals that would further extend the moratorium on state and local taxes on Internet access and commerce are pending in Congress.

Goods sold over the Internet also must comply with traditional regulatory requirements, such as the FTC requirements regarding truthful and accurate claims. Our online commerce businesses are subject to laws governing the collection, use, retention, security and transfer of personally-identifiable information about their users. In particular, the collection and use of personal information by companies has received increased regulatory scrutiny on a global basis. The enactment, interpretation and application of user data protection laws are in a state of flux, and the interpretation and application of such laws may vary from country to country. For example, new data laws that give customers additional rights and impose additional restrictions and penalties on companies for illegal collection and misuse of personal information are under final consideration in the European Union and may be enacted in 2015, and a European Union directive restricting the Internet tracking tools known as “cookies” has taken effect. In the U.S., the FTC has proposed a privacy policy framework, and legislation that would require organizations that suffer a breach of security related to personal information to notify owners of such information is pending in Congress. Many states have adopted laws requiring notification to users when there is a security breach affecting personal data, such as California’s Information Practices Act. Complying with these different national and state privacy requirements may cause the Internet companies in which we have interests to incur substantial costs. In addition, such companies generally have and post on their websites privacy policies and practices regarding the collection, use and disclosure of user data. A failure to comply with such posted privacy policies or with the regulatory requirements of federal, state, or foreign privacy laws could result in proceedings or actions by governmental agencies or others (such as class action litigation) which could adversely affect our online commerce businesses. Technical violations of certain privacy laws can result in significant penalties, including statutory penalties. In

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2012, the FCC amended its regulations under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act “TCPA, which could subject our Internet businesses to increased liability for certain telephonic communications with customers, including but not limited to text messages to mobile phones. Under the TCPA, plaintiffs may seek actual monetary loss or statutory damages of $500 per violation, whichever is greater, and courts may treble such damage awards for willful or knowing violations. Data collection, privacy and security are growing public concerns. If consumers were to decrease their use of our Internet businesses’ websites to purchase products and services, such businesses could be harmed. Congress and individual states may consider additional online privacy legislation.

Other Internet-related laws and regulations enacted in the future may cover issues such as defamatory speech, copyright infringement, pricing and characteristics and quality of products and services. The future adoption of such laws or regulations may slow the growth of commercial online services and the Internet, which could in turn cause a decline in the demand for the services and products of our online commerce businesses and increase their costs of doing business or otherwise have an adverse effect on their businesses, operating results and financial conditions. Moreover, the applicability to commercial online services and the Internet of existing laws governing issues such as property ownership, libel, personal privacy and taxation is uncertain and could expose these companies to substantial liability.

In 2010, the FCC adopted rules in its open Internet proceeding that require all broadband providers to disclose network management practices, restrict broadband providers from blocking Internet content and applications, and prohibit fixed broadband providers from engaging in unreasonable discrimination in transmitting lawful network traffic. The open Internet rules could restrict the ability of broadband providers to block or otherwise disadvantage our Internet businesses. On January 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules, holding that the FCC did not have statutory authority to adopt such rules, but upheld the disclosure rule. On May 15, 2014, the FCC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding new open Internet rules. On February 26, 2015, the FCC adopted open Internet rules that reclassify wireline and wireless broadband services as Title II common carrier services and regulate broadband services offered by Internet service providers (ISPs) under Title II, Title III and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act.  The regulations prohibit ISPs from: (1) blocking access to, or impairing or degrading, legal content, applications, services or non-harmful devices; and (2) favoring selected Internet traffic in exchange for consideration.  The rules also allow the FCC to hear complaints and take enforcement action if it determines that the interconnection agreements of ISPs are not just and reasonable, or if ISPs fail to meet a new general obligation not to unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage consumers or edge providers.  The rules also require greater transparency by ISPs, including requiring disclosure of promotional rates, fees and surcharges, and data caps.  The FCC forbears, or refrains from, imposing certain Title II regulation on ISPs, such as rate regulation, tariffs, and last-mile unbundling, and do not assess Universal Service Fund fees on broadband at this time.  Several broadband providers previously indicated their intention to challenge any utility-style regulations adopted by the FCC in court.

Proposed Changes in Regulation

The regulation of Internet services, online sales and other forms of product marketing is subject to the political process and has been in constant flux over the past decade. Further material changes in the law and regulatory requirements must be anticipated and there can be no assurance that our business will not be adversely affected by future legislation, new regulation or deregulation.

Competition

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor faces competition for content, users, and advertisers. TripAdvisor’s primary competitors include large online portals, social networking sites and search engines, such as Google, Microsoft’s Bing (including Bing Travel), Yahoo! (including Yahoo! Travel) and Baidu. TripAdvisor faces competition from OTAs (such as Expedia and Priceline and their respective subsidiaries), as well as wholesalers, tour operators and traditional offline travel agencies. TripAdvisor also competes with a wide range of other companies, including Airbnb, Inc., Ctrip.com International, Ltd., HolidayCheck AG, HomeAway, Inc., Yelp, Inc. and OpenTable, Inc., a subsidiary of Priceline.

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TripAdvisor faces competition in the travel review space from online travel agencies, such as Expedia and Priceline and their respective subsidiaries, which solicit reviews from travelers who book travel on their websites. With respect to its restaurant and attractions business, TripAdvisor faces competition for reviews from OpenTable, a subsidiary of Priceline and Yelp, Inc. Moreover, networks with significant installed user bases such as Google (for example, via Google + Local and Google Hotel Finder) have begun to compete more directly with TripAdvisor by attracting and accumulating user-generated travel reviews and opinions or may pursue the acquisition of travel-related content directly from consumers, and other networks and channels, like Facebook, could choose to do the same. In the competition to attract users, TripAdvisor relies on its ability to acquire traffic through offline brand recognition and brand-direct efforts such as television, email and online search, whether unpaid or paid. Finally, TripAdvisor also competes for travel-related advertising budgets with large, established search engines with significantly greater resources than it has, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, as well as online media companies and ad networks, offline advertising sources, such as television and print media.

Certain of the companies TripAdvisor does business with are also its competitors. The consolidation of its competitors and partners, including Expedia (through its investment in Trivago) and Priceline (through its acquisition of Kayak and OpenTable), may affect its competitiveness and partner relationships. As the market evolves for online travel content and the technology supporting it, including new platforms such as smartphone and tablet computing devices, we anticipate that the existing competitive landscape will change and new competitors may emerge.

BuySeasons

The party and costume segments have a large number of independent retailers, both bricks-and-mortar and online. Our subsidiary BuySeasons has a number of large and small primary competitors. Party City is the most significant competitor selling in both the party and costume categories. BuySeasons believes it has a competitive advantage due to the combination of a large assortment of on-line products, services related to party planning, product personalization, value pricing and a high level of customer service.

In addition, BuySeasons competes with traditional bricks-and-mortar and online retailers ranging from large department stores to specialty shops, electronic retailers, direct marketing retailers, such as mail order and catalog companies, and discount retailers. Due to the nature of these businesses there is not a single or small group of competitors that own a significant portion of the overall market share. However, some of these competitors, such as Amazon, have a significantly greater Web-presence than our e-commerce businesses. We believe that the principal competitive factors in the markets in which BuySeasons competes are selection, price, availability of inventory, convenience, brand recognition, accessibility, customer service, reliability, website performance, and ease of use.

Employees

TripCo currently does not have any corporate employees. Liberty Media provides TripCo with certain transitional and ongoing management services pursuant to a services agreement and certain of Liberty Medias corporate employees and executive officers will provide services to TripCo for a determined fee.  As of December 31, 2014, TripAdvisor had approximately 2,800 employees. Of those employees, approximately 1,300 were based in the United States. As of December 31, 2014, BuySeasons had approximately 300  full and part-time employees. None of these employees is represented by a labor union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement. TripCo believes that these employee relations are good.

(d)Financial Information About Geographic Areas

For financial information related to the geographic areas in which we do business, see note 13 to our consolidated financial statements found in Part II of this report.

(e)Available Information

All of our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including our Form 10-K, Form 10-Qs and Form 8-Ks, as well as amendments to such filings are available on our Internet website free of charge generally within 24 hours after we file such material with the SEC.  Our website address is www.libertytripadvisorholdings.com.

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Our corporate governance guidelines, code of business conduct and ethics, compensation committee charter, nominating and corporate governance committee charter, and audit committee charter are available on our website.  In addition, we will provide a copy of any of these documents, free of charge, to any shareholder who calls or submits a request in writing to Investor Relations, Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc., 12300 Liberty Boulevard, Englewood, Colorado 80112, Tel. No. (877) 772-1518.

The information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference herein.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

The risks described below and elsewhere in this annual report are not the only ones that relate to our businesses or our capitalization.  The risks described below are considered to be the most material.  However, there may be other unknown or unpredictable economic, business, competitive, regulatory or other factors that also could have material adverse effects on our businesses.  Past financial performance may not be a reliable indicator of future performance and historical trends should not be used to anticipate results or trends in future periods.  If any of the events described below were to occur, our businesses, prospects, financial condition, results of operations and/or cash flows could be materially adversely affected.

Factors Relating to Our Corporate History and Structure

The combined financial information of our company, for the periods prior to the Trip Spin-Off, is not necessarily representative of our future financial position, future results of operations or future cash flows nor does it reflect what our financial position, results of operations or cash flows would have been as a stand-alone company during the periods presented.

Because the historical combined financial information of our company included in these financial statements includes the results of our legacy business and because such financial information largely reflects the historical results of BuySeasons, it is not representative of our future financial position, future results of operations or future cash flows, nor does it reflect what our financial position, results of operations or cash flows would have been as a stand-alone company, pursuing independent strategies, during the periods presented, especially in light of the fact that the future results of operations will be significantly comprised of the results of TripAdvisor.

We are a holding company, and we could be unable in the future to obtain cash in amounts sufficient to service our financial obligations or meet our other commitments.

Our ability to meet our financial obligations and other contractual commitments, including to make debt service payments under the Margin Loan Agreements (as defined below) and any other credit facilities that we may obtain in the future, depends upon our ability to access cash. We are a holding company, and our sources of cash include our available cash balances, net cash from the operating activities of our wholly owned subsidiary BuySeasons, any dividends and interest we may receive from our investments and proceeds from any asset sales we may undertake in the future. We currently have no plans with respect to any asset sales. The ability of our operating subsidiaries to pay dividends or to make other payments or advances to us depends on their individual operating results and any statutory, regulatory or contractual restrictions to which they may be or may become subject.

We do not have access to the cash that TripAdvisor generates from its operating activities.

TripAdvisor generated $387 million, $349 million and $239 million of cash from its operations during the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. TripAdvisor uses the cash it generates from its operations to fund its investing activities and to service its debt and other financing obligations. We do not have access to the cash that TripAdvisor generates unless TripAdvisor declares a dividend on its capital stock payable in cash, repurchases any or all of its outstanding shares of capital stock for cash or otherwise distributes or makes payments to its stockholders, including us. Historically, TripAdvisor has not paid any dividends on its capital stock or, with limited exceptions, otherwise distributed cash to its stockholders and instead has used all of its available cash in the expansion of its business and to service its debt obligations. Covenants in TripAdvisor’s existing debt instruments also restrict the payment of dividends and cash distributions to stockholders. We expect that TripAdvisor will continue to apply its available cash to the expansion of its business.

We have no operating history as a separate company upon which you can evaluate our performance.

We do not have an operating history as a separate public company. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that our business strategy will be successful on a long-term basis. We may not be able to grow our businesses as planned and may not be profitable.

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If TripAdvisor’s spin-off from Expedia, together with certain related transactions, were to fail to qualify as a transaction that is generally tax free for U.S. federal income tax purposes, TripAdvisor could be subject to significant tax liabilities.

As a condition to the completion of TripAdvisor’s spin-off from Expedia, Expedia obtained a private letter ruling from the IRS, along with an opinion of counsel, satisfactory to the Expedia Board of Directors regarding the qualification of the spin-off, together with certain related transactions, as a transaction that is generally tax free for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Sections 355 and 368(a)(1)(D) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (“the Code”). The IRS private letter ruling and the opinion of counsel were based on, among other things, certain facts and assumptions as well as the accuracy of certain representations, statements and undertakings that Expedia and TripAdvisor made to the IRS and to counsel. If any of these representations, statements or undertakings are, or become, inaccurate or incomplete, or if TripAdvisor or Expedia breaches any of the covenants, the IRS private letter ruling and the opinion of counsel may be invalid.

Moreover, the IRS private letter ruling does not address all the issues that are relevant to determining whether TripAdvisor’s spin-off from Expedia qualifies as a transaction that is generally tax free for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Notwithstanding the IRS private letter ruling and/or the opinion of counsel, the IRS could determine that the spin-off should be treated as a taxable transaction if it determines that any of the representations, assumptions or undertakings that were included in the request for the IRS private letter ruling or on which the opinion of counsel was based is false or has been violated or if it disagrees with the conclusions in the opinion of counsel that are not covered by any IRS ruling.

Under the tax sharing agreement between TripAdvisor and Expedia, TripAdvisor is 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 TripAdvisor described in the covenants in the tax sharing agreement, (ii) any acquisition of TripAdvisor’s equity securities or assets or those of a member of its group, or (iii) any failure of the representations with respect to TripAdvisor or any member of its group to be true or any breach by TripAdvisor or any member of its 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.

Factors Relating to Our Businesses

If TripAdvisor is unable to continue to increase visitors to its websites and to cost-effectively convert these visitors into repeat users or contributors, its advertising revenue could decline.

The primary asset that TripAdvisor uses to attract visitors to its websites and convert these visitors into repeat users is TripAdvisor’s continued ability to collect, create, organize and distribute high-quality, commercially valuable content that meets their specific interests and enables them to share and interact with the content and supporting communities. There can be no assurances that TripAdvisor will continue to obtain content in a cost-effective manner or in a manner that meets rapidly changing consumer demand. Any failure to obtain such content or organize and distribute such content in a manner that will engage users, or a failure to provide products that are perceived as useful, reliable and trustworthy, could adversely affect user experiences and reduce traffic driven to its websites, which would make TripAdvisor’s websites less attractive to advertisers. Any change in the cost structure pursuant to which TripAdvisor obtains its content, or in travelers’ relative appreciation of user-based versus expert content or our user-based content versus other sites’ user-based content, could also reduce traffic driven to TripAdvisor’s websites, which would negatively impact its business and financial performance.

TripAdvisor derives substantially all of its revenue from advertising and any significant reduction in spending by its advertisers could harm its business.

TripAdvisor derives substantially all of its revenue from the sale of advertising, primarily through click-based advertising and, to a lesser extent, display-based advertising. While TripAdvisor enters into master advertising contracts with its partners, these agreements generally address matters such as privacy and compliance, payment terms and

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conditions, termination and indemnities.  Most of TripAdvisor’s click-based advertising contracts can be terminated by its partners at will or on short notice. TripAdvisor’s ability to grow advertising revenue with its existing or new advertising partners is dependent in large part on its ability to generate revenue for them. Advertisers will not continue to do business with TripAdvisor if their investment in such advertising does not generate sales leads, customers, bookings, or revenue and profit on a cost-effective basis, or if it does not deliver advertisements in an effective manner. If TripAdvisor is unable to provide value to its advertisers, they will likely stop placing ads on its websites, which would harm our financial condition and business. In addition, we cannot guarantee that TripAdvisor’s 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 it.

Click-based advertising accounts for the majority of TripAdvisor’s advertising revenue. Any changes TripAdvisor makes to its business model may impact its advertising revenue in ways that it does not expect. If TripAdvisor’s partners do not receive the benefits they expect from their advertising spend with it, they may reduce their spending. In addition, if new, more effective advertising models were to emerge, there can be no assurance that TripAdvisor would have the ability to offer these models, or offer them in an effective manner.

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

Expenditures by advertisers also tend to be cyclical, subject to variation based on budgetary constraints, project cancellation or delay, and to reflect overall economic conditions and buying patterns. If TripAdvisor is unable to generate advertising revenue due to factors outside of its control, our business and financial performance would be adversely affected.

Our subsidiaries’ businesses could be negatively affected by changes in search engine algorithms and dynamics, or search engine disintermediation.

Our subsidiaries rely heavily on Internet search engines such as Google on desktop, tablet and mobile devices, including through the purchase of travel-related keywords, to generate traffic to their websites. Our subsidiaries obtain a significant amount of traffic via search engines and, therefore, utilize techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO”) and search engine marketing (SEM”) to improve their placement in relevant search queries. Search engines, including Google, frequently update and change the logic that determines the placement and display of results of a user’s search, such that the purchased or algorithmic placement of links to our subsidiaries’ websites can be negatively affected. Moreover, a search engine could, for competitive or other purposes, alter its search algorithms or results causing our subsidiaries’ websites to place lower in search query results. If a major search engine changes its algorithms in a manner that negatively affects our subsidiaries’ paid or unpaid search ranking, or if competitive dynamics impact the effectiveness of SEO or SEM in a negative manner, our business and financial performance would be adversely affected, potentially to a material extent. Furthermore, our subsidiaries’ failure to successfully manage their SEO and SEM strategies could result in a substantial decrease in traffic to their websites, as well as increased costs if our subsidiaries were to replace free traffic with paid traffic.

In addition, to the extent that Google (including Google + Local and Google Hotel Finder) and Bing (including Bing Travel), or other leading search or metasearch engines that have a significant presence in TripAdvisor’s key markets, disintermediate online travel agencies or travel content providers by offering comprehensive travel planning or shopping capabilities, or refer those leads to suppliers directly, or to other favored partners, there could be a material adverse impact on TripAdvisor’s business and financial performance. For example, during 2011, Google completed its acquisition of flight search technology company ITA Software and separately made changes to its hotel search results, including both expanding and promoting the use of Google + Local. To the extent these actions have a negative effect on TripAdvisor’s search traffic, whether on desktop, tablet or mobile devices, our business and financial performance could be adversely affected.

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TripAdvisor relies on a relatively small number of significant advertisers and any reduction in spending by or loss of those advertisers could seriously harm its business.

TripAdvisor derives a substantial portion of its revenue from a relatively small number of significant advertisers. For example, for the year ended December 31, 2014, TripAdvisor’s two most significant advertising partners, Expedia and Priceline (and their subsidiaries), accounted for a combined 46% of its total revenue. If any of its significant advertisers were to cease or significantly curtail advertising on TripAdvisor’s websites, TripAdvisor could experience a rapid decline in its revenue over a relatively short period of time.

TripAdvisor’s success depends upon the acceptance, and successful measurement, of online advertising as an alternative to offline advertising.

The long-term growth of TripAdvisor’s business will depend heavily on the continued acceptance of online advertising as an alternative or supplement to offline advertising and the increase in the percentage of the advertising market allocated to online advertising which may not happen in a manner or to the extent that it currently expects. TripAdvisor competes with traditional media for advertising dollars, in addition to websites with higher levels of traffic. If online advertising ceases to be an acceptable alternative or supplement to offline advertising then its business, financial condition and results of operations will be negatively impacted.

Because the online marketing industry is relatively new and rapidly evolving, it uses different methods than traditional media to gauge its effectiveness. The adoption of Internet advertising, particularly by those entities that have historically relied upon traditional media for advertising, requires the acceptance of a new way of conducting business, exchanging information and evaluating new advertising and marketing technologies and services. As a result, TripAdvisor is continually evaluating changes to aspects of its business model to keep pace with the expectations of users and advertisers, and these changes may not yield the benefits it expects. In particular, it is dependent on its clients’ adoption of new metrics to measure the success of online marketing campaigns.

In addition, if advertisers materially change their transaction attribution models or their return on investment calculations and/or increase their return on investment targets with respect to online advertising in general, or TripAdvisor traffic in particular, they might reduce the prices they are willing to pay for TripAdvisor’s advertising products, which would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Growth in the use of devices other than personal computers may negatively affect TripAdvisor’s revenue and financial results.

In general, TripAdvisor’s content was originally designed for users accessing the Internet on a desktop or laptop computer. The number of people who access the Internet through devices other than personal computers, such as mobile phones, smartphones, handheld computers such as notebooks and tablets, video game consoles and television set top devices, has increased substantially in the last few years and TripAdvisor anticipates that the rate of use of these computing devices will continue to grow. The lower resolution, functionality and memory associated with some of these alternative devices make the use of TripAdvisor’s products and services through such devices much more difficult and versions of its products and services developed for these devices may not be compelling to users.  Although the substantial majority of users of alternative computing devices also access and engage with TripAdvisor’s websites on personal computers and/or tablets, TripAdvisor’s users could decide to increasingly access its products primarily through alternative computing devices. TripAdvisor has developed services and applications to address limitations of these smaller devices and its advertising revenue continues to grow, however, TripAdvisor monetizes users of alternative computing devices at a lower rate compared to users who access its websites through personal computers.

Declines or disruptions in the economy in general and the travel industry in particular could adversely affect TripAdvisor’s businesses and financial performance.

TripAdvisor’s businesses and financial performance are affected by the health of the global economy generally as well as the worldwide travel industry in particular. Travel expenditures are sensitive to personal and business

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discretionary spending levels and tend to decline or grow more slowly during economic downturns. Decreased travel expenditures could reduce the demand for our services, thereby causing a reduction in revenue.

The global economy may be adversely impacted by a number of negative economic developments including defaults on government debt, significant increases in fuel and energy costs, tax increases and other matters that could reduce discretionary spending, continued tightening of credit markets, further declines in consumer confidence, and policy missteps. These conditions could have a material adverse impact on our business and financial performance.

TripAdvisor relies on the value of its brand and consumer trust in its brand. If TripAdvisor is not able to maintain and enhance its brand, or if events occur that damage its reputation and brand, TripAdvisor’s business may be harmed.

TripAdvisor believes that the TripAdvisor brand has contributed significantly to its success and that maintaining and enhancing its brand is critical to expanding its base of users, creating content and attracting advertisers. As a result, TripAdvisor invests significantly in brand marketing including, most recently, television. TripAdvisor expects these investments to continue, or even increase, as a result of a variety of factors, including increased spending from competitors, the increasing costs of supporting multiple brands, expansion into geographies and products where its brands are less well known, inflation in media pricing, and the continued emergence and relative traffic share growth of search engines as destination sites for travelers. Such efforts may not maintain or enhance consumer awareness of its brands and, even if TripAdvisor is successful in its branding efforts, such efforts may not be cost-effective or as efficient as they have been historically. If TripAdvisor is unable to maintain or enhance consumer awareness of its brands or to generate demand in a cost-effective manner, it would have a material adverse effect on our business and financial performance.

TripAdvisor receives significant media coverage in its various geographic markets. Unfavorable publicity regarding, for example, TripAdvisor’s privacy practices, product changes, the accuracy of user-generated content, product quality, litigation or regulatory activity could adversely affect its reputation with its site users and its advertisers. Such negative publicity also could have an adverse effect on the size, engagement, and loyalty of TripAdvisor’s user base and result in decreased revenue, which could adversely affect its business and financial results.

Intense competition could reduce TripAdvisor’s market share and harm its financial performance.

The market for the services TripAdvisor offers is intensely competitive. TripAdvisor faces competition from a number of different sources and many of its competitors have significantly greater and more diversified resources than TripAdvisor does and may be able to leverage other aspects of their business to enable them to compete more effectively against it. More specifically:

·

TripAdvisor currently faces competition from travel service providers such as major hotel companies, airlines and rental car companies, many of which have their own websites to which they drive business. For example, several major hotel companies launched an online hotel reservation service with a stated goal of driving consumers directly to their brand websites thereby reducing the share received by online travel agents. They may also attempt to improve their competitive position by offering lower room rates, better room availability or additional features or amenities through this reservation service than are available through services like TripAdvisor’s.

·

TripAdvisor currently faces competition from online travel agents, such as Expedia and Priceline (and their subsidiaries), and this competition may increase to the extent that these online travel agents accumulate and develop a comprehensive offering of travel-related reviews and resources. The barriers to entry for these companies may be limited given their access to travel-related information and relationships with consumers.

·

TripAdvisor faces increased competition from the large search engines and social networking sites, companies, such as Google and Facebook, or other companies, which competition will only increase should they chose to compete more directly with it in the travel review space, and create commercially valuable online content at significant scale. For example, Google + Local, with its aggregated reviews and local recommendations, competes with TripAdvisor and Google’s access to more comprehensive data regarding

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user search queries through its search algorithms gives it a significant competitive advantage over other companies in the industry, including TripAdvisor. In addition, if significant numbers of users adopt Facebook’s newly released Graph Search to get travel recommendations, it could have the effect of reducing traffic and user engagement on TripAdvisor.

·

TripAdvisor also faces competition from travel agencies, wholesalers and travel operators as well as operators of travel industry reservation databases such as Galileo, Travelport, Amadeus and Sabre.

·

In addition, TripAdvisor competes with newspapers, magazines and other traditional media companies that provide offline and online advertising opportunities.

·

For TripAdvisor’s vacation rental business, TripAdvisor also faces competition from several companies, including HomeAway and Airbnb, some of whom have a larger inventory of rooms available than TripAdvisor does.

·

For TripAdvisor’s restaurant reservation and attractions business, the competition is not as consolidated as it is for other areas of its business; however, TripAdvisor faces competition from certain companies like OpenTable in the United States. 

Many of TripAdvisor’s competitors have significantly greater financial, technical, marketing and other resources compared to it and have expertise in developing online commerce and facilitating Internet traffic as well as large client bases. TripAdvisor expects to face additional competition as other established and emerging companies enter the travel advertising market. Certain of the companies it does business with, including some of its click-based advertising partners, are also its competitors. The consolidation of TripAdvisor’s competitors and partners, including Expedia (through its investment in Trivago) and Priceline (through its acquisition of Kayak and OpenTable), may affect its relative competitiveness and its partner relationships. Competition and consolidation could result in higher traffic acquisition costs, reduced margins on TripAdvisor’s advertising services, loss of market share, reduced customer traffic to its websites and reduced advertising by travel companies on its websites. For example, Google (through its launch of Google Hotel Finder, evolution and expansion of Google + Local and preferred top placement of Places results in Google organic travel search results) and Microsoft’s Bing (through its launch of Bing Travel), have each taken steps to appeal more directly to travel customers, which could lead to diversion of customer traffic to their own websites or those of a favored partner, or undermine TripAdvisor’s ability to obtain prominent placement in paid or unpaid search results at a reasonable cost, or at all. Competition in TripAdvisor’s industry may result in pricing pressure, loss of market share or decreased member engagement, any of which could adversely affect our business and financial performance.

TripAdvisor is regularly subject to claims, suits, government investigations, and other proceedings that may result in adverse outcomes.

TripAdvisor is regularly subject to claims, suits, and government investigations involving competition, intellectual property, privacy, consumer protection, tax, labor and employment, commercial disputes, content generated by its users, goods and services offered by advertisers or publishers using its platforms, and other matters. The sale of hardware products also exposes TripAdvisor to the risk of product liability and other litigation involving assertions about product defects, as well as health and safety, hazardous materials usage, and other environmental concerns. In addition, TripAdvisor’s businesses face intellectual property litigation, as further discussed later, that exposes it to the risk of exclusion and cease and desist orders, which could limit its ability to sell products and services.

Such claims, suits, and government investigations are inherently uncertain and their results cannot be predicted with certainty. Regardless of the outcome, any of these types of legal proceedings can have an adverse impact on TripAdvisor because of legal costs, diversion of management resources, and other factors. Determining reserves for TripAdvisor’s pending litigation 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 fines and penalties that could adversely affect TripAdvisor’s 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, or orders preventing TripAdvisor from offering certain features, functionalities, products, or services, requiring a change in TripAdvisor’s business practices

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or product recalls or other field action, or requiring development of non-infringing or otherwise altered products or technologies. Any of these consequences could adversely affect its business and results of operations. 

TripAdvisor may be subject to claims that it violated intellectual property rights of others, which claims are extremely costly to defend and could require it to pay significant damages and limit its ability to operate.

Companies in the Internet and technology industries, and other patent and trademark holders seeking to profit from royalties in connection with grants of licenses, own large numbers of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets and frequently enter into litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. TripAdvisor has received in the past, and may in the future receive, notices that claim it has misappropriated or misused other parties’ intellectual property rights. Any intellectual property claim against TripAdvisor, regardless of merit, could be time consuming and expensive to settle or litigate and could divert management’s attention and other resources. These claims also could subject TripAdvisor to significant liability for damages and could result in TripAdvisor having to stop using technology or content found to be in violation of another party’s rights. TripAdvisor might be required or may opt to seek a license for rights to intellectual property held by others, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Even if a license is available, TripAdvisor could be required to pay significant royalties, which would increase its operating expenses. TripAdvisor may also be required to develop alternative non-infringing technology, or content, which could require significant effort and expense and make it less competitive in the relevant market. Any of these results could harm our business and financial performance.

TripAdvisor is dependent upon the quality of traffic in its network to provide value to online advertisers, and any failure in its quality control could have a material adverse effect on the value of its websites to its advertisers and adversely affect its revenue.

TripAdvisor uses technology and processes to monitor the quality of and to identify any anomalous metrics associated with, the Internet traffic that it delivers to online advertisers. These metrics may be indicative of 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, TripAdvisor may be required to credit amounts owed to it by its advertisers. Furthermore, low-quality or invalid traffic may be detrimental to TripAdvisor’s relationships with advertisers, and could adversely affect its advertising pricing and revenue.

TripAdvisor relies on assumptions and estimates and data from third parties to calculate certain of its key metrics, and real or perceived inaccuracies in such metrics may harm TripAdvisor’s reputation and negatively affect our business.

Certain key metrics, such as the number of TripAdvisor’s active users, unique visitors, total traffic and number of reviews and opinions, are calculated, in some cases, using internal company data and, in other cases, relying on data from third parties. While these numbers are based on what TripAdvisor believes to be reasonable calculations for the applicable periods of measurement, there are inherent challenges in measuring usage and user engagement across its large user base around the world. For example, a single person or user may have multiple accounts or browse the internet on multiple browsers, some mobile applications automatically contact TripAdvisor’s servers for regular updates with no user action and TripAdvisor is not able to capture user information on all of its platforms. As such, the calculations of TripAdvisor’s active users and unique visitors may not accurately reflect the number of people actually using its platforms. In addition, TripAdvisor’s measures of user growth and user engagement may differ from estimates published by third parties or from similar metrics of its competitors due to differences in methodologies utilized by TripAdvisor and the third parties for which it relies on this data.

TripAdvisor is continually seeking to improve its ability to estimate these key metrics. TripAdvisor regularly reviews and adjusts its processes for calculating internal metrics to improve their accuracy. If TripAdvisor’s users, advertisers, partners and shareholders do not perceive its metrics to be accurate representations or if TripAdvisor discovers material inaccuracies in its user metrics, its reputation may be harmed. In which case, users may not use TripAdvisor’s

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products and services and advertisers and partners may be less willing to allocate their budgets to its products and services which could negatively affect TripAdvisor’s business and operating results.

Our subsidiaries rely on information technology to operate their business and maintain competitiveness, and any failure to adapt to technological developments or industry trends could harm our subsidiaries.

Our subsidiaries depend on the use of sophisticated information technologies and systems. As their operations grow in size and scope, they must continuously improve and upgrade their systems and infrastructure while maintaining or improving the reliability and integrity of their systems and infrastructure. Our subsidiaries’ future success also depends on their ability to adapt their services and infrastructure to meet rapidly evolving consumer trends and demands while continuing to improve the performance, features and reliability of their services in response to competitive service and product offerings. The emergence of alternative platforms such as smartphone and tablet computing devices and the emergence of niche competitors who may be able to optimize products, services or strategies for such platforms will require new investment in technology. New developments in other areas, such as cloud computing, could also make it easier for competition to enter their markets due to lower up-front technology costs. In addition, our subsidiaries may not be able to maintain their existing systems or replace or introduce new technologies and systems as quickly as they would like or in a cost-effective manner.

If TripAdvisor does not continue to innovate and provide tools and services that are useful to travelers, it may not remain competitive, and its business and financial performance could suffer.

TripAdvisor’s success depends in part on continued innovation to provide features and services that make its websites and smartphone and tablet computing applications useful for travelers. Its competitors are continually developing innovations in online travel-related services and features. As a result, TripAdvisor is continually working to improve its business model and user experience in order to drive user traffic and conversion dates. TripAdvisor can give no assurances that the changes it makes will yield the benefits it expects and will not have adverse impacts that TripAdvisor did not anticipate. If TripAdvisor is unable to continue offering innovative products and services and quality features that travelers want to use, existing users may become dissatisfied and use a competitor’s offerings and, it may be unable to attract additional users, which could adversely affect its business and financial performance.

New technologies could block TripAdvisor’s ads, which would harm its business.

TripAdvisor derives most of its revenue from fees paid to it by advertisers in connection with the display of ads on web pages for its users. Technologies have been developed that can block the display of online ads and that provide tools to users to opt out of some web-based advertising products. As a result, these technologies and tools could adversely affect its business and financial performance.

TripAdvisor’s culture emphasizes rapid innovation and prioritizes user engagement over short-term financial results.

TripAdvisor has a culture that encourages rapid development and release of new and improved products, which may at times result in unintended consequences or decisions that are poorly received by users or advertisers. TripAdvisor’s culture also prioritizes user engagement, or website “stickiness,” over short-term financial results. TripAdvisor has taken actions in the past and may continue to make product decisions going forward that have the effect of reducing its short-term revenue or profitability if it believes that the decisions benefit the aggregate user experience and/or conversion rates and CPC pricing, and will thereby improve its financial performance over the long-term. The short-term reductions in revenue or profitability could be more severe than TripAdvisor anticipates. These decisions may not produce the long-term benefits that TripAdvisor expects, in which case its user growth and engagement, its relationships with users and advertisers, and its business and results of operations could be harmed.

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The online vacation rental market is rapidly evolving and if TripAdvisor fails to predict the manner in which the market develops, its business and prospects may suffer.

TripAdvisor offers vacation rental services through its U.S.-based FlipKey and Vacation Home Rentals and European-based Holiday Lettings and Niumba. The online vacation rental market is relatively new and rapidly evolving in many respects, including acceptance of the business model by travelers, property owners and property managers; from a business and marketing perspective as well as the regulatory environment. TripAdvisor operates in various disparate jurisdictions and markets and has limited insight into trends that may develop in those markets and may affect its business. Since TripAdvisor began offering such services, there have been and continue to be significant business, marketing and regulatory developments. Operating in new and untested jurisdictions requires significant management attention and financial resources. TripAdvisor cannot assure that its expansion efforts will be successful, and the investment and additional resources required to establish operations and manage growth may not produce the desired levels of revenue or profitability.

If TripAdvisor fails to attract and maintain a critical mass of vacation rental listings and travelers, its vacation rental marketplaces will become less valuable and this may have a negative impact on its business.

In TripAdvisor’s vacation rental business, revenue is generated when owners or managers of vacation rental properties pay TripAdvisor fees to list and market vacation rental properties to users who visit the websites comprising its marketplace, owners and/or travelers pay it fees upon booking a transaction and property managers pay TripAdvisor fees for email and telephone leads from potential travelers. As a result, TripAdvisor’s success in this area primarily depends on its ability to attract owners, managers, travelers and advertisers to its marketplace. If property owners and managers do not perceive the benefits of marketing their properties through TripAdvisor’s websites, or elect to list them with a competitor instead of listing with TripAdvisor, its volume of new listings and listing renewals may suffer. As a result, TripAdvisor may be unable to offer a sufficient supply and variety of vacation properties to attract travelers to its websites. A larger competitor already exists in the vacation rental space, with significantly more users and listed properties, and new competitors with significant financial resources are continually emerging.

Each of our company and TripAdvisor may have future capital needs and may not be able to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms.

In connection with the Trip Spin-Off, we have outstanding borrowings of $404 million at December 31, 2014, including PIK interest, under two margin loan agreements (the “Margin Loan Agreements”) entered into by our bankruptcy remote wholly-owned subsidiary (“TripSPV”). Borrowings under the Margin Loan Agreements are guaranteed solely by our company and secured by our ownership interest in TripAdvisor. All of our equity interests in TripAdvisor will be held through TripSPV. Because our primary asset consists of our equity interests in TripAdvisor and the Margin Loan Agreements prohibit, with limited exceptions, the incurrence of additional indebtedness by TripSPV, our company is very limited in its ability to incur additional financing (other than a contingent line of credit provided to our company by Liberty, pursuant to which our company is able to borrow up to $200 million under limited circumstances (the “Liberty Line of Credit”), and our cash reserves and limited operating cash flow may be insufficient to satisfy our financial obligations. In addition, the Margin Loan Agreements provide that, among other triggering events, if at any time the closing price per share of TripAdvisor common stock falls below certain minimum values, a partial repayment of the Margin Loans will be due and payable with respect to each such circumstance, together with accrued and unpaid interest and, during approximately the first two years of the term of the Margin Loan Agreements, a prepayment premium. If the company or TripSPV is unable to pay such amounts, the lenders may foreclose on the pledged stock of TripAdvisor that TripSPV holds and any other collateral that then secures TripSPV’s obligations under the Margin Loan Agreements, which would materially adversely affect our asset composition and financial condition as well as our access to capital on a going forward basis.

TripAdvisor is party to a term loan with a remaining principal of $300 million, as well as a revolving credit facility of $200 million at December 31, 2014. These arrangements may limit TripAdvisor’s ability to secure significant additional financing in the future on favorable terms, and its cash reserves and operating cash flow may be insufficient to satisfy its financial obligations under indebtedness outstanding from time to time. The ability of TripAdvisor to secure additional

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financing and satisfy its financial obligations under indebtedness outstanding from time to time will depend upon its future operating performance.

In addition, the availability of capital for our company and TripAdvisor will be subject to prevailing general economic and credit market conditions, including interest rate levels and the availability of credit generally, and financial, business and other factors, all of which are beyond the control of our company and TripAdvisor. In light of periodic uncertainty in the capital and credit markets, there can be no assurance that sufficient financing will be available on desirable terms, if at all, to fund investments, acquisitions, stock repurchases, dividends, debt refinancing or extraordinary actions or that counterparties in any such financings would honor their contractual commitments. If financing is not available when needed or is not available on favorable terms, TripAdvisor may be unable to issue or develop new or enhanced existing services, and both our company and TripAdvisor may be unable to complete acquisitions, repurchase equity or otherwise take advantage of business opportunities, any of which could have a material adverse effect on the business, financial condition and results of operations of our company and TripAdvisor. If we raise additional funds through the issuance of equity securities, our stockholders may experience significant dilution.

Further, if TripAdvisor raises additional funds through the issuance of equity securities, including as a result of the lack of availability of debt financing, our company may experience significant dilution.

TripAdvisor is also accumulating a greater portion of its cash flows in foreign jurisdictions than previously. The repatriation of such funds for use in the United States, including for corporate purposes such as acquisitions, stock repurchases, dividends or debt refinancings, may result in additional U.S. income tax expense and higher cost for such capital.

Each of our company and TripAdvisor has significant indebtedness, which could adversely affect its business and financial condition.

As discussed above, in connection with the Trip Spin-Off, we entered into the Margin Loan Agreements as the guarantor with TripSPV as the borrower, pursuant to which TripSPV has outstanding $404 million at December 31, 2014, including PIK interest. In addition, TripAdvisor is party to its own term loan with a remaining principal of $300 million and $200 million revolving credit facility at December 31, 2014. As a result of this significant indebtedness, each company may:

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Experience increased vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

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Be required to dedicate a substantial portion of its available cash to make payments on its indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, strategic acquisitions and investments and other general corporate purposes (and we further note that, in the case of our company, we have a limited amount of cash and do not have access to the cash of TripAdvisor as a result of the significant non-controlling interest in TripAdvisor);

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Be handicapped in its ability to optimally capitalize and manage the cash flow for its businesses;

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Be limited in its flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in its businesses and the markets in which it operates;

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Possibly be placed at a competitive disadvantage compared to its competitors that have less debt;

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Be exposed to the risk of increased interest rates with respect to any variable rate portion of its indebtedness; and

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Be limited in its ability to borrow additional funds or to borrow funds at rates or on other terms that it finds acceptable.

In addition, it is possible that each company may need to incur additional indebtedness in the future in the ordinary course of business. The terms of TripAdvisor’s outstanding indebtedness permit it to incur additional debt subject to certain limitations. If new debt is added to the current debt levels, the risks described above could intensify. In addition, TripSPV 

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is prohibited from incurring additional indebtedness under the Margin Loan Agreements, and we expect our company to have limited capacity to incur indebtedness outside of TripSPV (other than with respect to the Liberty Line of Credit, which is only available under limited circumstances).

Although TripAdvisor has substantial cash flow from operations with which it may service its debt obligations, we have limited sources of cash and liquidity. Our initial cash balance is expected to enable us to fund our parent level operating expenses and debt service obligations for the next five years; however, we cannot assure you that we will not experience unexpected expenses or that we will have sufficient liquidity to fund our operations and service our direct debt obligations during those five years or thereafter. For additional information about our company’s ability to potentially service our direct debt obligations, see “We are a holding company, and we could be unable in the future to obtain cash in amounts sufficient to service our financial obligations or meet our other commitments.” and “We do not have access to the cash that TripAdvisor generates from its operating activities.” above. A description of TripAdvisor’s debt service obligations can be found in footnote 7 (Debt) to the Notes to Consolidated and Combined Financial Statements of TripAdvisor, Inc. for the period ended December 31, 2014 included herein under “Financials Statements.”

The agreements that govern TripAdvisor’s credit facility contain various covenants that limit its discretion in the operation of its businesses and require it to meet financial maintenance tests and other covenants. The failure to comply with such tests and covenants could have a material adverse effect on TripAdvisor. In addition, the Margin Loan Agreements contain various covenants that will restrict the activities of TripSPV.

TripAdvisor is party to a credit agreement providing for a revolving credit facility with a borrowing capacity of $200 million and a term of five years, as well as a five-year term loan with an original principal of $400 million term loan to its wholly-owned subsidiary, TripAdvisor Holdings, LLC. The agreements that govern the term loan and revolving credit facility contain various covenants, including those that limit TripAdvisor’s ability to, among other things:

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Incur indebtedness;

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Pay dividends on, redeem or repurchase its capital stock;

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

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Enter into secured financing arrangements;

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Enter into sale and leaseback transactions; and

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Enter into unrelated businesses.

These covenants may limit TripAdvisor’s ability to optimally operate its business. In addition, TripAdvisor’s term loan and revolving credit facility require that it meets certain financial tests, including an interest coverage test and a leverage ratio test.

As discussed above, in connection with the Trip Spin-Off, we entered into the Margin Loan Agreements as the guarantor with TripSPV as the borrower, pursuant to which we borrowed $404 million, including PIK interest. The Margin Loan Agreements contain various covenants, including those that limit our ability to, among other things:

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Incur indebtedness by TripSPV;

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Enter into financing arrangements with respect to the stock of TripAdvisor; and

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Cause TripSPV to enter into unrelated businesses or otherwise conduct business other than owning common stock or other shares of TripAdvisor.

In addition, as discussed above, the Margin Loan Agreements provide that, among other triggering events, if at any time the closing price per share of TripAdvisor common stock falls below certain minimum values, a partial repayment of the Margin Loans to certain specified amounts will be due and payable with respect to each such circumstance, together with accrued and unpaid interest and, during approximately the first two years of the term of the Margin Loan Agreements, a prepayment premium, and if the company or TripSPV is unable to pay such amounts, the lenders may foreclose on the

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pledged stock of TripAdvisor that TripSPV holds and any other collateral that then secures TripSPV’s obligations under the Margin Loan Agreements, which would materially adversely affect our asset composition and financial condition

Any failure to comply with the restrictions of TripAdvisor’s term loan and credit facility or the Margin Loan Agreements may result in an event of default under the agreements governing such facilities. Such default may allow the applicable creditors to accelerate the debt incurred thereunder. In addition, lenders may be able to terminate any commitments they had made to supply TripAdvisor with further funds (including periodic rollovers of existing borrowings). For additional information regarding the potential impact of the restrictions in these debt arrangements, see “Each of our company and TripAdvisor may have future capital needs and may not be able to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms.”

If TripAdvisor fails to manage its growth effectively, its brand, results of operations and business could be harmed.

TripAdvisor has experienced rapid growth in its headcount and operations, which places substantial demands on management and its operational infrastructure. TripAdvisor continues to make substantial investments in its technology, sales and marketing and community management organizations. As TripAdvisor continues to grow, it must effectively integrate, develop and motivate a large number of new employees, including employees in international markets, while maintaining the beneficial aspects of its company culture. If TripAdvisor does not manage the growth of its business and operations effectively, the quality of its platform and efficiency of its operations could suffer, which could harm its brand, results of operations and business.

TripAdvisor’s international operations involve additional risks and its exposure to these risks will increase as its business expands globally.

TripAdvisor operates in a number of jurisdictions outside of the United States and intends to continue to expand its international operations. To achieve widespread acceptance in new countries and markets, TripAdvisor must continue to tailor its services and business model to the unique circumstances of such countries and markets, which can be difficult, costly and divert management and personnel resources. Failure to adapt practices and models effectively to each country into which TripAdvisor expands could slow its international growth.

TripAdvisor has businesses operating in China, which create particular risks and uncertainties relating to the laws in China. The laws and regulations of China restrict foreign investment in areas including air-ticketing and travel agency services, Internet content provision, mobile communication and related businesses. Although TripAdvisor has established effective control of its Chinese businesses through a series of agreements, future developments in the interpretation or enforcement of Chinese laws and regulations or a dispute relating to these agreements could restrict its ability to operate or restructure these businesses or to engage in strategic transactions. The success of these businesses, and of any future investments in China, is subject to risks and uncertainties regarding the application, development and interpretation of China’s laws and regulations.

Other risks faced by TripAdvisor as a result of its international operations, including its operations in China, include:

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Political instability;

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Threatened or actual acts of terrorism;

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Regulatory requirements, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.K. Bribery Act, data privacy requirements, labor laws and anti-competition regulations;

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Ability to comply with additional U.S. laws applicable to U.S. companies operating internationally as well as local laws and regulations;

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Diminished ability to legally enforce contractual rights;

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Increased risk and limits on enforceability of intellectual property rights;

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·

Possible preferences by local populations for local providers;

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Restrictions on, or adverse consequences related to, the withdrawal of non-U.S. investment and earnings;

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

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

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Slower adoption of the Internet as an advertising, broadcast and commerce medium in certain of those markets as compared to the United States;

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

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

The loss of one or more of TripAdvisor’s key personnel, or its failure to attract and retain other highly qualified personnel in the future, could harm TripAdvisor’s business.

TripAdvisor’s future success depends upon the continued contributions of its senior corporate management and other key employees. In particular, the contributions of Stephen Kaufer, TripAdvisor’s President and Chief Executive Officer, are critical to its overall management. TripAdvisor cannot ensure that it will be able to retain the services of these individuals, and the loss of one or more of its key personnel could seriously harm its business. TripAdvisor does not maintain any key person life insurance policies.

In addition, competition remains intense for well-qualified employees in certain aspects of TripAdvisor’s business, including software engineers, developers, product management and development personnel, and other technology professionals. TripAdvisor’s continued ability to compete effectively depends on its ability to attract new employees and to retain and motivate existing employees. If TripAdvisor does not succeed in attracting well-qualified employees or retaining or motivating existing employees, its business would be adversely affected.

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 subsidiaries or our financial performance.

Our subsidiaries’ 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, our business and our subsidiaries, including those relating to the Internet and online commerce, Internet advertising, consumer protection and privacy. Unfavorable changes could decrease demand for products and services, limit marketing methods and capabilities, increase costs and/or subject us and/or our subsidiaries to additional liabilities.

For example, there is, and will likely continue to be, an increasing number of laws and regulations pertaining to the 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, behavioral targeting and online advertising, taxation, liability for third-party activities and the quality of products and services. Our subsidiaries’ current business partner arrangements with third parties, including Facebook, could be negatively impacted to the extent that more restrictive privacy laws or regulations are enacted, particularly in the United States or European Union. In addition, enforcement authorities in the United States continue to rely on their authority under existing consumer protection laws to take action against companies relating to data privacy and security practices. 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.

TripAdvisor also has been subject, and it will likely be subject in the future, to inquiries from time to time from regulatory bodies concerning compliance with consumer protection, competition, tax and travel industry-specific laws and regulations. The failure of its businesses to comply with these laws and regulations could result in fines and/or proceedings against TripAdvisor by governmental agencies and/or consumers, which if material, could adversely affect its business,

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financial condition and results of operations. Further, if such laws and regulations are not enforced equally against other competitors in a particular market, TripAdvisor’s compliance with such laws may put it 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 TripAdvisor provides services could require it to change certain aspects of its business, operations and commercial relationships to ensure compliance, which could decrease demand for services, reduce revenue, increase costs and/or subject the company to additional liabilities.

TripAdvisor’s effective 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 its business, TripAdvisor is subject to income taxes in the United States and other foreign jurisdictions. In the event TripAdvisor incurs net income in certain jurisdictions but incurs losses in other jurisdictions, it generally cannot offset the income from one jurisdiction with the loss from another, which could increase its effective tax rate. Furthermore, significant judgment is required to calculate TripAdvisor’s worldwide provision for income taxes. In the ordinary course of its business there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. By virtue of TripAdvisor’s previously filed separate company and consolidated income tax returns with Expedia, TripAdvisor is routinely under audit by federal, state and foreign taxing authorities. Although TripAdvisor believes its tax estimates are reasonable, the final determination of audits could be materially different from its historical income tax provisions and accruals. The results of an audit could have a material effect on TripAdvisor’s financial position, results of operations, or cash flows in the period or periods for which that determination is made.

Additionally, TripAdvisor earns an increasing portion of its income, and accumulates a greater portion of cash flow, in foreign jurisdictions which it considers indefinitely reinvested. Any repatriation of funds currently held in foreign jurisdictions may result in higher effective tax rates and incremental cash tax payments. In addition, there have been proposals to amend U.S. tax laws that would significantly impact the manner in which U.S. companies are taxed on foreign earnings. Although we cannot predict whether or in what form any legislation will pass, if enacted, it could have a material adverse impact on TripAdvisor’s U.S. tax expense and cash flows.

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

TripAdvisor’s websites rely on content, brands and technology, much of which is proprietary. TripAdvisor protects its proprietary content, brands and technology by relying on a combination of trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, patents and confidentiality agreements. In connection with its license agreements with third parties, TripAdvisor seeks to control access to, and the use and distribution of, proprietary technology, content and brands. Even with these precautions, it may be possible for another party to copy or otherwise obtain and use TripAdvisor’s proprietary technology, content or brands without authorization or to develop similar technology, content or brands independently. Effective intellectual property protection may not be available in every jurisdiction in which its services are made available, and policing unauthorized use of its intellectual property is difficult and expensive. Therefore, in certain jurisdictions, TripAdvisor may be unable to protect its intellectual property adequately against unauthorized third-party copying or use, which could adversely affect its business or ability to compete. TripAdvisor cannot be sure that the steps it has taken will prevent misappropriation or infringement of its intellectual property. Any misappropriation or violation of TripAdvisor’s rights could have a material adverse effect on our business. Furthermore, TripAdvisor may need to go to court or other tribunals to enforce its intellectual property rights, to protect its 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. TripAdvisor’s failure to protect its intellectual property in a cost-effective or effective manner could have a material adverse effect on its business and ability to protect its technology, content and brands.

TripAdvisor currently licenses from third parties and incorporates the technologies and content into its websites. As TripAdvisor continues to introduce new services that incorporate new technologies and content, it may be required to

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license additional technology or content. TripAdvisor cannot be sure that such technology or content will be available on commercially reasonable terms, if at all.

TripAdvisor is subject to foreign exchange risk.

TripAdvisor conducts a significant and growing portion of its business outside the United States. As a result, TripAdvisor faces exposure to movements in currency exchange rates, particularly those related to the Euro, British pound sterling, Singapore dollar, Australian dollar and Chinese renminbi. These exposures include, but are not limited to re-measurement 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 TripAdvisor prepares its annual and quarterly forecasts and when actual results occur.

Depending on the size of the exposures and the relative movements of exchange rates, if TripAdvisor were to choose not to hedge or were to fail to hedge effectively its exposure, TripAdvisor could experience a material adverse effect on its 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 TripAdvisor’s business have made hedging these exposures both more complex and costly. TripAdvisor hedges certain short-term foreign currency exposures with the purchase of forward exchange contracts. These hedge 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 its hedges will have their intended effects.

System interruption and the lack of redundancy in some of its internal information systems may harm our subsidiaries’ business.

Our subsidiaries rely on computer systems to deliver content and services. Our subsidiaries have experienced, and may in the future experience, system interruptions that make some or all of these systems unavailable or prevent them from efficiently fulfilling orders or providing content and services to users and third parties. Significant interruptions, outages or delays in internal systems, or systems of third parties that they rely upon or deterioration in the performance of any such systems, would impair our subsidiaries’ ability to process transactions or display content and decrease the quality of the services they offer to users. These interruptions could include security intrusions and attacks on their systems for fraud or service interruption (called “denial of service” or “bot” attacks). If our subsidiaries were to experience frequent or persistent system failures, their business, reputations and brand could be harmed.

In addition, our subsidiaries’ backup systems and disaster recovery, business continuity or contingency plans for certain critical aspects of their operations or business processes may not be sufficient. Many other systems are not fully redundant and their disaster recovery or business continuity planning may not be sufficient. Fire, flood, power loss, telecommunications failure, break-ins, earthquakes, acts of war or terrorism, acts of God, computer viruses, electronic intrusion attempts from both external and internal sources and similar events or disruptions may damage or impact or interrupt computer or communications systems or business processes at any time. Although our subsidiaries have put measures in place to protect certain portions of their facilities and assets, any of these events could cause system interruption, delays and loss of critical data, and could prevent them from providing content and services to users, travelers and/or third parties for a significant period of time. Remediation may be costly and our subsidiaries may not have adequate insurance to cover such costs. Moreover, 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.

Our subsidiaries’ processing, storage and use of personal information and other data exposes them to risks stemming from external and internal security breaches and failure to comply with governmental regulation, which could give rise to liabilities.

There are numerous laws regarding privacy and the storing, sharing, use, processing, disclosure and protection of personal information and other consumer data, the scope of which is changing, subject to differing interpretations, and may be inconsistent between countries or conflict with other rules. Our subsidiaries strive to comply with all applicable

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laws, policies, legal obligations and industry codes of conduct relating to privacy and data protection. Any failure or perceived failure by our subsidiaries to comply with their privacy policies, privacy-related obligations to users or other third parties, or privacy-related legal obligations, or any compromise of security that results in the unauthorized release or transfer of personally identifiable information or other user data, may result in governmental enforcement actions, litigation or public statements that could harm their reputation and cause their customers and members to lose trust in them, which could have an adverse effect on their businesses, brand, market share and results of operations.

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. 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, the European Union is finalizings reforms to its existing data protection legal framework, which may result in a greater compliance burden for companies, including our subsidiaries, with users in Europe and increased costs of compliance.

Potential security breaches to our subsidiaries’ systems, whether resulting from internal or external sources, could significantly harm our business. A party, whether internal or external, that is able to circumvent their security systems could misappropriate user information or proprietary information or cause significant interruptions in their operations. In the past, our subsidiaries have experienced “denial-of-service” type attacks on their systems that have made portions of their websites unavailable for short periods of time as well as unauthorized access of their systems and data. In addition, TripAdvisor has acquired a number of companies over the years and may continue to do so in the future. While TripAdvisor makes significant efforts to address any information technology security issues with respect to its acquisitions, it may still inherit such risks when it integrates the acquired businesses. Our subsidiaries may need to expend significant resources to protect against security breaches or to investigate and address problems caused by breaches, and reductions in website availability could cause a loss of substantial business volume during the occurrence of any such incident. Because the techniques used to sabotage security change frequently, often are not recognized until launched against a target and may originate from less regulated and remote areas around the world, our subsidiaries may be unable to proactively address these techniques or to implement adequate preventive measures. 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. Security breaches could also cause users and potential users to lose confidence in their security, which would have a negative effect on the value of their brands. Failure to adequately protect against attacks or intrusions, whether for their own systems or systems of vendors, could expose our subsidiaries to security breaches that could have an adverse impact on financial performance.

Our subsidiaries also face risks associated with security breaches affecting third parties conducting business over the Internet. For example, much of TripAdvisor’s business is conducted with third party marketing affiliates, which may generate travel reservations through its infrastructure or through its systems. In addition, our subsidiaries frequently use third parties to process credit card payments. A security breach at such third party could be perceived by consumers as a security breach of our subsidiaries’ systems and could result in negative publicity, damage our subsidiaries’ reputation, expose them to risk of loss or litigation and possible liability and subject them to regulatory penalties and sanctions. In addition, such third parties may not comply with applicable disclosure requirements, which could expose our subsidiaries to liability.

Investment in new business strategies and acquisitions could disrupt TripAdvisor’s ongoing business and present risks not originally contemplated.

TripAdvisor has invested, and in the future may invest, in new business strategies or acquisitions. Such endeavors may involve significant risks and uncertainties, including distraction of management from current operations, greater than expected liabilities and expenses, inadequate return of capital, and unidentified issues not discovered in its investigations and evaluations of those strategies and acquisitions. We may decide to make minority investments, including through joint ventures, in which it has limited or no management or operational control. The controlling person in such a case may have business interests, strategies or goals that are inconsistent with TripAdvisor’s, and decisions of the company or venture in

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which TripAdvisor invested may result in harm to its reputation or adversely affect the value of its investment. Further, TripAdvisor may issue shares of its common stock in these transactions, and as a result our company may experience significant dilution.

If the businesses TripAdvisor has acquired or invested in do not perform as expected or TripAdvisor is unable to effectively integrate acquired businesses, its operating results and prospects could be harmed.

TripAdvisor has acquired a number of businesses in the past, and its future growth may depend, in part, on future acquisitions, any of which could be material to its financial condition and results of operations. Certain financial and operational risks related to acquisitions that may have a material impact on TripAdvisor’s business are:

·

Use of cash resources and incurrence of debt and contingent liabilities in funding acquisitions may limit other potential uses of its cash, including stock repurchases, dividend payments and retirement of outstanding indebtedness;

·

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

·

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

·

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

·

Difficulties and expenses in integrating the operations, products, technology, privacy protection systems, information systems or personnel of the acquired company;

·

Costs associated with litigation or other claims relating to the acquired company;

·

Impairment of relationships with employees, suppliers and affiliates of its business and the acquired business;

·

The assumption of known and unknown debt and liabilities of the acquired company;

·

Failure of the acquired company to achieve anticipated traffic, revenue, earnings or cash flows or to retain key management or employees;

·

Failure to generate adequate returns on acquisitions and investments;

·

Entrance into markets in which TripAdvisor has no direct prior experience and increased complexity in its business;

·

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

·

Adverse market reaction to acquisitions.

Moreover, TripAdvisor relies heavily on the representations and warranties provided to it by the sellers of acquired companies, including as they relate to creation, ownership and rights in intellectual property and compliance with laws and contractual requirements. TripAdvisor’s failure to address these risks or other problems encountered in connection with past or future acquisitions and investments could cause it to fail to realize the anticipated benefits of such acquisitions or investments, to incur unanticipated liabilities and to harm its business generally.

No assurance can be made that we will be successful in integrating any acquired businesses.

Our subsidiaries may grow through acquisitions in selected markets. Integration of new businesses may present significant challenges, including: realizing economies of scale in programming and network operations; eliminating duplicative overhead; and integrating networks, financial systems and operational systems. No assurance can be made that, with respect to any acquisition, we will realize anticipated benefits or successfully integrate any acquired business with our existing operations. In addition, while we intend to implement appropriate controls and procedures as we integrate acquired companies, we may not be able to certify as to the effectiveness of these companies’ disclosure controls and

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procedures or internal control over financial reporting (as required by U.S. federal securities laws and regulations) until we have fully integrated them.

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

For the period ended December 31, 2014, the average daily trading volume of TripAdvisor’s common stock on Nasdaq was approximately 2.2 million shares. If its stockholders were to sell substantial amounts of TripAdvisor’s common stock in the public market, the market price of its common stock and hence our common stock could decrease significantly. The perception in the public market that TripAdvisor’s existing stockholders or our stockholders might sell shares of common stock could also depress the trading price of our common stock. For example, sales of or hedging transactions, such as collars, in our shares by our Chairman of the Board or any of our other directors or executive officers could cause a perception in the marketplace that our stock price (and hence TripAdvisor’s stock price) has peaked or that adverse events or trends have occurred or may be occurring at our company or TripAdvisor. This perception could result notwithstanding any personal financial motivation for these insider transactions. In addition, we have the right to require TripAdvisor to file registration statements covering TripAdvisor shares we own or to include TripAdvisor shares in registration statements that it may file for itself or other stockholders. A decline in the price of shares of TripAdvisor’s common stock or our common stock might impede its or our ability to raise capital through the issuance of additional equity securities.

The seasonality of our subsidiary BuySeasons places increased strain on its operations.

The net revenue of BuySeasons in recent years indicates that its business is seasonal due to a higher volume of sales in certain months or calendar quarters or related to holiday shopping. BuySeasons earns approximately half of its revenue from the sale of costumes in September and October leading up to Halloween. If the vendors for BuySeasons’ business are not able to provide popular products in sufficient amounts such that BuySeasons fails to meet customer demand, it could significantly affect its revenue and future growth. If too many customers access the websites of BuySeasons within a short period of time due to increased demand, its business may experience system interruptions that make its websites unavailable or prevent them from efficiently fulfilling orders, which may reduce the volume of goods it sells and the attractiveness of its products and services. In addition, BuySeasons may be unable to adequately staff its fulfillment and customer service centers during these peak periods and delivery and other third party shipping (or carrier) companies may be unable to meet the seasonal demand.

Factors Relating to the Trip Spin-Off

We may have a significant indemnity obligation to Liberty if the Trip Spin-Off is treated as a taxable transaction.

In connection with the Trip Spin-Off, Liberty received a ruling from the IRS (“the Ruling”) and an opinion of tax counsel, in each case to the effect that the Trip Spin-Off will qualify as a tax-free transaction to Liberty and to the holders of its Liberty Ventures common stock under Section 355, Section 368(a)(1)(D) and related provisions of the Code.  Although the Ruling is generally binding on the IRS, the Ruling does not address certain requirements necessary to obtain tax-free treatment to Liberty and the holders of its Liberty Ventures common stock as a result of the IRS’s ruling policy with respect to transactions under Section 355 of the Code (and instead is based upon representations made by Liberty that these requirements have been satisfied), and the continuing validity of the Ruling is subject to the accuracy of representations and factual statements made by Liberty to the IRS.  Further, an opinion of tax counsel is not binding on the IRS or the courts, and the conclusions expressed in such opinion could be challenged by the IRS, and a court could sustain such challenge. In October 2014, the IRS completed its examination of the Trip Spin-Off and notified Liberty that it agreed with the nontaxable characterization of the transaction. Liberty expects to execute a Closing Agreement with the IRS documenting this conclusion in 2015. If, however, it is determined, for whatever reason, that the Trip Spin-Off does not qualify for tax-free treatment, Liberty and/or the holders of its Liberty Ventures common stock could incur significant tax liabilities. 

Prior to the Trip Spin-Off, we entered into a tax sharing agreement with Liberty.  Under this agreement, Liberty is generally responsible for any taxes and losses resulting from the failure of the Trip Spin-Off to qualify as a tax-free

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transaction; however, we are required to indemnify Liberty for any taxes and losses which (i) result primarily from, individually or in the aggregate, the breach of certain covenants made by us (applicable to actions or failures to act by our company and our subsidiaries following the completion of the Trip Spin-Off), or (ii) result from the application of Section 355(e) of the Code to the Trip Spin-Off as a result of the treatment of the Trip Spin-Off as part of a plan (or series of related transactions) pursuant to which one or more persons acquire, directly or indirectly, a 50-percent or greater interest (measured by either vote or value) in the stock of our company or any successor corporation.  Our indemnification obligations to Liberty are not limited in amount or subject to any cap.  If we are required to indemnify Liberty for taxes and losses resulting from the failure of the Trip Spin-Off to qualify as tax-free, we may be subject to substantial liabilities, which could materially adversely affect our financial position.   

To preserve the tax-free treatment of the Trip Spin-Off, we may determine to forego certain transactions that might have otherwise been advantageous to our company, including certain asset dispositions or other strategic transactions for some period of time following the Trip Spin-Off.  In addition, our indemnity obligation related to the Trip Spin-Off under the tax sharing agreement might discourage, delay or prevent a change of control transaction for some period of time following the Trip Spin-Off. 

We may incur material costs as a result of our separation from Liberty.

We will incur costs and expenses not previously incurred as a result of our separation from Liberty. These increased costs and expenses may arise from various factors, including financial reporting, costs associated with complying with the federal securities laws (including compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002), tax administration and human resources related functions. Although Liberty Media will continue to provide many of these services for us under the services agreement, we cannot assure you that the services agreement will continue or that these costs will not be material to our business.

Prior to the Trip Spin-Off, we were not an independent company and we may be unable to make, on a timely or cost-effective basis, the changes necessary to operate as an independent company.

Prior to the Trip Spin-Off, our business was operated by Liberty as part of its broader corporate organization, rather than as an independent company. Liberty’s senior management oversaw the strategic direction of our businesses and Liberty (directly and through its services agreement with Liberty Media) performed various corporate functions for us, including, but not limited to:

·

selected human resources related functions;

·

tax administration;

·

selected legal functions (including compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002), as well as external reporting;

·

treasury administration, investor relations, internal audit and insurance functions; and

·

selected information technology and telecommunications services.

Following the Trip Spin-Off, neither Liberty nor any of its affiliates have any obligation to provide these functions to us other than those services that will be provided by Liberty Media pursuant to the services agreement between us and Liberty Media. If, once our services agreement terminates, we do not have in place our own systems and business functions, we do not have agreements with other providers of these services or we are not able to make these changes cost effectively, we may not be able to operate our business effectively and our profitability may decline. If Liberty Media does not continue to perform effectively the services that are called for under its services agreement with us, we may not be able to operate our business effectively after the Trip Spin-Off.

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Our company has overlapping directors and officers with Liberty, Liberty Media and LBC, which may lead to conflicting interests.

As a result of the Trip Spin-Off, the September 2011 separation of Starz from Liberty and Liberty Media’s spin-off of LBC, most of our executive officers also serve as executive officers of Liberty, Liberty Media and LBC and there are overlapping directors. None of the foregoing companies has any ownership interest in any of the others. Our executive officers and members of our company’s board of directors have fiduciary duties to our stockholders. Likewise, any such persons who serve in similar capacities at Liberty, Liberty Media or LBC have fiduciary duties to that company’s stockholders. For example, there may be the potential for a conflict of interest when our company, Liberty, Liberty Media or LBC looks at acquisitions and other corporate opportunities that may be suitable for each of them. Therefore, such persons may have conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest with respect to matters involving or affecting more than one of the companies to which they owe fiduciary duties. Moreover, most of our company’s directors and officers own Liberty, Liberty Media and LBC stock and equity awards.  These ownership interests could create, or appear to create, potential conflicts of interest when the applicable individuals are faced with decisions that could have different implications for our company, Liberty, Liberty Media and/or LBC. Any potential conflict that qualifies as a “related party transaction” (as defined in Item 404 of Regulation S-K) is subject to review by an independent committee of the applicable issuer’s board of directors in accordance with its corporate governance guidelines. Each of our company and LBC have renounced their rights to certain business opportunities and each company’s  restated certificate of incorporation contains provisions deeming directors and officers not in breach of their fiduciary duties in certain cases for directing a corporate opportunity to another person or entity (including Liberty, Liberty Media and LBC) instead of such company. Any other potential conflicts that arise will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, keeping in mind the applicable fiduciary duties owed by the executive officers and directors of each issuer. From time to time, we may enter into transactions with Liberty, Liberty Media or LBC and/or their subsidiaries or other affiliates. There can be no assurance that the terms of any such transactions will be as favorable to our company, Liberty, Liberty Media, LBC or any of their respective subsidiaries or affiliates as would be the case where there is no overlapping officer or director.

Our inter-company agreements were negotiated while we were a subsidiary of Liberty.

We entered into a number of inter-company agreements covering matters such as tax sharing and our responsibility for certain liabilities previously undertaken by Liberty for certain of our businesses. In addition, we entered into a services agreement with Liberty Media pursuant to which it provides to us certain management, administrative, financial, treasury, accounting, tax, legal and other services, for which we will pay Liberty Media a services fee. The terms of all of these agreements were established while we were a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty, and hence may not be the result of arms’ length negotiations. Although we believe that the negotiations with Liberty Media were at arms’ length, the persons negotiating on behalf of Liberty Media also serve as officers of Liberty, as described above. We believe that the terms of these inter-company agreements are commercially reasonable and fair to all parties under the circumstances; however, conflicts could arise in the interpretation or any extension or renegotiation of the foregoing agreements after the Trip Spin-Off.

Factors Relating to our Common Stock and the Securities Market

Our stock price may be disproportionately affected by the results of operations of TripAdvisor and developments in its business.

The fair value of our investment in TripAdvisor, on an as-converted basis, was approximately $2.3 billion as of December 31, 2014, which, prior to the Trip Spin-Off, represented a large portion of the total market value of Liberty’s Liberty Ventures tracking stock, as a whole, and, following the Trip Spin-Off, represents an even larger portion of our total market value. The Liberty Ventures tracking stock historically traded at times somewhat in tandem with TripAdvisor’s common stock. As a result of the Trip Spin-Off, our stock price may move in tandem with the TripAdvisor stock price to a greater degree than the Liberty Ventures common stock did prior to the Trip Spin-Off, with the result that our stock price may be disproportionately affected by the results of operations of TripAdvisor and developments in its business.

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If we are unable to satisfy the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or our internal control over financial reporting is not effective, the reliability of our financial statements may be questioned and our stock price may suffer.

Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires any company subject to the reporting requirements of the U.S. securities laws to do a comprehensive evaluation of its and its consolidated subsidiaries’ internal control over financial reporting. To comply with this statute, we are required to document and test our internal control procedures; our management is required to assess and issue a report concerning our internal control over financial reporting; and our independent auditors are required to issue an opinion on management’s assessment of those matters. Our compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act will first be tested in connection with the filing of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2015. The rules governing the standards that must be met for management to assess our internal control over financial reporting are complex and require significant documentation, testing and possible remediation to meet the detailed standards under the rules. During the course of its testing, our management may identify material weaknesses or deficiencies which may not be remedied in time to meet the deadline imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. If our management cannot favorably assess the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting or our auditors identify material weaknesses in our internal controls, investor confidence in our financial results may weaken, and our stock price may suffer.

It may be difficult for a third party to acquire us, even if doing so may be beneficial to our stockholders.

Certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company that a stockholder may consider favorable. These provisions include the following:

·

authorizing a capital structure with multiple series of common stock: a Series B that entitles the holders to ten votes per share, a Series A that entitles the holders to one vote per share and a Series C that, except as otherwise required by applicable law, entitles the holders to no voting rights;

·

authorizing the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock, which could be issued by our board of directors to increase the number of outstanding shares and thwart a takeover attempt;

·

classifying our board of directors with staggered three-year terms beginning in 2015, which may lengthen the time required to gain control of our board of directors;

·

limiting who may call special meetings of stockholders;

·

prohibiting stockholder action by written consent, thereby requiring all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of the stockholders;

·

establishing advance notice requirements for nominations of candidates for election to our board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at stockholder meetings;

·

requiring stockholder approval by holders of at least 80% of our voting power or the approval by at least 75% of our board of directors with respect to certain extraordinary matters, such as a merger or consolidation of our company, a sale of all or substantially all of our assets or an amendment to our certificate of incorporation; and

·

the existence of authorized and unissued stock which would allow our board of directors to issue shares to persons friendly to current management, thereby protecting the continuity of its management, or which could be used to dilute the stock ownership of persons seeking to obtain control of us.

In addition, Gregory B. Maffei, our President and Chief Executive Officer and a director on our board, beneficially owns shares representing the power to direct approximately 27% of the aggregate voting power in our company, due to his beneficial ownership of approximately 95% of the outstanding shares of our Series B common stock as of February 28, 2015.

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Holders of a single series of our common stock may not have any remedies if an action by our directors has an adverse effect on only that series of our common stock.

Principles of Delaware law and the provisions of our certificate of incorporation may protect decisions of our board of directors that have a disparate impact upon holders of any single series of our common stock. Under Delaware law, the board of directors has a duty to act with due care and in the best interests of all of our stockholders, including the holders of all series of our common stock. Principles of Delaware law established in cases involving differing treatment of multiple classes or series of stock provide that a board of directors owes an equal duty to all common stockholders regardless of class or series and does not have separate or additional duties to any group of stockholders. As a result, in some circumstances, our directors may be required to make a decision that is viewed as adverse to the holders of one series of our common stock. Under the principles of Delaware law and the business judgment rule, holders may not be able to successfully challenge decisions that they believe have a disparate impact upon the holders of one series of our stock if our board of directors is disinterested and independent with respect to the action taken, is adequately informed with respect to the action taken and acts in good faith and in the honest belief that the board is acting in the best interest of all of our stockholders.

Item 1B.  Unresolved Staff Comments

 

None. 

 

Item 2.  Properties.

 

In connection with the Trip Spin-Off, a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media entered into a facilities sharing agreement with TripCo, pursuant to which TripCo shares office facilities with Liberty Media, Liberty and Liberty Broadband Corporation located at 12300 Liberty Boulevard, Englewood, Colorado.

TripAdvisor did not legally own any real estate as of December 31, 2014. TripAdvisor currently leases approximately 119,000 square feet for its corporate headquarters in Newton, Massachusetts, pursuant to a lease agreement with an expiration date of April 2015. TripAdvisor is currently in the process of negotiating an extension of the lease until mid-2015. In addition, in June 2013, TripAdvisor entered into an additional lease for an approximately 280,000 square foot rental building which will be built in Needham, Massachusetts by the lessor and will serve as its new corporate headquarters in conjunction with the expiration of its current lease. The transition to the new corporate headquarters is expected to be completed by mid-2015. TripAdvisor also leases an aggregate of approximately 470,000 square feet at approximately 40 other locations across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, primarily for its sales offices, subsidiary headquarters and international management teams, pursuant to lease agreements with expiration dates through November 2024.

BuySeasons has its corporate headquarters and maintains warehouse operations in New Berlin, Wisconsin. BuySeasons leases its 468,745 square foot facility for its headquarters and warehouse operations pursuant to a non-cancelable operating lease agreement which expires in July 2026.

Item 3.  Legal Proceedings

In the ordinary course of its business, our subsidiary TripAdvisor and its subsidiaries are party to legal proceedings and claims arising out of their operations. These matters may relate to claims involving alleged infringement of third-party intellectual property rights, defamation, taxes, regulatory compliance and other claims. There are no other material pending legal proceedings or claims to which we or our subsidiaries are party or of which any of our property is the subject. There may be claims or actions pending or threatened against us or our subsidiaries of which we are currently not aware and the ultimate disposition of which would have a material adverse effect on us.

Item 4.  Mine Safety Disclosures

 

Not applicable.

 

 

 

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PART II

Item 5.    Market for Registrant's Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters of Equity Securities.

 

Market Information

Our Series A and Series B common stock have been outstanding since August 2014.   Each series of our common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.  The following table sets forth the range of high and low sales prices of shares of our common stock for the year ended December 31, 2014, for the periods they were outstanding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc.

 

 

 

Series A

 

Series B

 

 

    

High

    

Low

    

High

    

Low

 

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third quarter (after August 27, 2014)

 

$

38.39 

 

32.46 

 

42.00 

 

35.44 

 

Fourth quarter

 

$

34.04 

 

23.91 

 

35.44 

 

19.64 

 

 

Holders

As of February 28, 2015, there were approximately 1,410 and 67 record holders of our Series A and Series B common stock, respectively.  The foregoing numbers of record holders do not include the number of stockholders whose shares are held nominally by banks, brokerage houses or other institutions, but include each such institution as one shareholder.

Dividends

We have not paid any cash dividends on our common stock, and we have no present intention of so doing.  Payment of cash dividends, if any, in the future will be determined by our board of directors in light of our earnings, financial condition and other relevant considerations.

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

Information required by this item is incorporated by reference to our definitive proxy statement for our 2015 Annual Meeting of stockholders.

 

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Item 6.    Selected Financial Data.

The following tables present selected historical information relating to our financial condition and results of operations for the past five years.  The following data should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

    

2014

    

2013

    

2012

    

2011

    

2010

Summary Balance Sheet Data:

 

(amounts in millions)

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

509 

 

354 

 

369 

 

 

Investments in available for sale securities and other cost investments

 

$

31 

 

188 

 

99 

 

 

Investment in affiliates(1)

 

$

 

 

 

183 

 

Intangible assets not subject to amortization

 

$

5,510 

 

5,292 

 

5,267 

 

46 

 

46 

Intangible assets subject to amortization, net

 

$

831 

 

908 

 

1,158 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

7,381 

 

7,089 

 

7,205 

 

350 

 

90 

Long-term debt

 

$

664 

 

300 

 

343 

 

 

Deferred income tax liabilities, noncurrent

 

$

821 

 

853 

 

972 

 

 

Total stockholders' equity

 

$

897 

 

1,208 

 

1,279 

 

329 

 

66 

Noncontrolling interest

 

$

4,450 

 

4,373 

 

4,340 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years ended December 31,

 

 

 

2014

    

2013 (1)

    

2012 (1)

    

2011

    

2010

 

Summary Statement of Operations Data:

 

(amounts in millions, except per share amounts)

 

Revenue

 

$

1,329 

 

1,034 

 

165 

 

155 

 

157 

 

Operating income (loss)

 

$

68 

 

(17)

 

(54)

 

 —

 

12 

 

Interest Expense, including related party

 

$

(13)

 

(12)

 

(1)

 

 —

 

 —

 

Share of earnings (losses) of affiliates

 

$

 —

 

 —

 

38 

 

 

 —

 

Gains (losses) on transactions, net (1)

 

$

 —

 

(1)

 

1,088 

 

 —

 

 —

 

Other, net

 

$

(11)

 

 —

 

 —

 

 —

 

 —

 

Net earnings (loss) attributable to Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. shareholders

 

$

(22)

 

(7)

 

983 

 

12 

 

12 

 

Basic net earnings (loss) attributable to Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. stockholders per common share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Series A and Series B common stock (2)

 

$

(0.30)

 

(0.10)

 

13.35 

 

0.16 

 

0.17 

 

Diluted earnings (loss) attributable to Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. stockholders per common share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Series A and Series B common stock (2)

 

$

(0.30)

 

(0.10)

 

13.35 

 

0.16 

 

0.17 

 

 


(1)

During May 2012, TripCo sold approximately 8.5 million shares of TripAdvisor for cash proceeds of $338 million. The sale resulted in a $288 million gain recorded in gain (losses) on transactions, net, based on the average cost of those shares, in the statement of operations.  On December 11, 2012, we acquired approximately 4.8 million additional shares of common stock of TripAdvisor (an additional 4% equity ownership interest), for $300 million, along with the right to control the vote of the shares of TripAdvisor’s common stock and class B common stock we own. Following the transaction we own approximately 22% of the equity and 57% of the total votes of all classes of TripAdvisor common stock. As we now control TripAdvisor, we applied the applicable purchase accounting guidance and recorded a gain on the transaction of $800 million on our ownership interest held prior to the transaction, recognized in the gain (loss) on transactions, net line in the consolidated statements of operations. See note 4 of the accompanying consolidated financial statements for further details on the purchase price allocation.

(2)

Liberty issued 73,685,924 common shares, which is the aggregate number of shares of Series A and Series B common stock outstanding upon the completion of the Trip Spin-Off on August 27, 2014.  The same number of shares is being used for both basic and diluted earnings per share for all periods prior to the date of the Trip Spin-Off as no Company equity awards were outstanding prior to the Trip Spin-Off.

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

The following discussion and analysis provides information concerning our results of operations and financial condition. This discussion should be read in conjunction with our accompanying consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto.

Overview

During October 2013, the Board of Directors of Liberty Interactive Corporation and its subsidiaries (“Liberty”) authorized a plan to distribute to the stockholders of Liberty’s Liberty Ventures common stock shares of a wholly-owned subsidiary Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. (“TripCo” or the “Company”) which holds the subsidiaries TripAdvisor, Inc. (“TripAdvisor”) and BuySeasons, Inc. which includes the retail businesses BuyCostumes.com and Celebrate Express (“BuySeasons”) (the “Trip Spin-Off”). The transaction was completed on August 27, 2014 and was effected as a pro-rata dividend of shares of TripCo to the stockholders of Series A and Series B Liberty Ventures common stock of Liberty. The Trip Spin-Off is intended to be tax-free and has been accounted for at historical cost due to the pro rata nature of the distribution to shareholders of Liberty Ventures common stock.

The financial information represents a combination of the historical results of TripAdvisor and BuySeasons as discussed in note 1 in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. These financial statements refer to the combination of TripAdvisor and BuySeasons as “TripCo,” “the Company,” “us,” “we” and “our” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in the consolidated financial statements.

Our “Corporate and Other” category includes our interest in BuySeasons and corporate expenses.

Strategies and Challenges

Executive Summary

Our results prior to December 11, 2012 were largely dependent on the operating performance of BuySeasons. In 2013 and future periods, results for TripCo have been and will be largely dependent upon the operating performance of TripAdvisor. Therefore, the executive summary below contains the strategies and challenges of TripAdvisor for an understanding of the business objectives of TripAdvisor, our most significant operating business. In addition, we have included challenges and strategies related to BuySeasons.

Strategies and Challenges Related to TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor’s financial results are currently principally dependent on its ability to drive click-based advertising revenue. TripAdvisor is investing in areas of potential click-based revenue growth, including Instant Booking, international expansion and innovations in the mobile user experience. TripAdvisor is also investing in display-based advertising, Business Listings, Vacation Rentals, Restaurants and Attractions.  As the largest online travel website, based on comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, December 2014, TripAdvisor is an attractive marketing channel for advertisers—including hotel chains, independent hoteliers, online travel agencies, destination marketing organizations, and other travel-related and non-travel related product and service providers—who seek to sell their products and services to its large user base. The key drivers of click-based and display-based advertising revenue are described below, as well as a summary of key growth areas and the current trends impacting the business.

Key Drivers of Click-Based Advertising Revenue

For the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, 70%, 74% and 77%, respectively, of TripAdvisor’s total revenue came from TripAdvisor’s core cost-per-click, or CPC, based lead generation product. The key drivers of TripAdvisor’s click-based advertising revenue include the growth in monthly unique hotel shoppers and revenue per hotel shopper.

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Hotel shoppers:    TripAdvisor believes total traffic growth, or growth in monthly visits from unique visitors, is reflective of TripAdvisor’s overall brand growth. TripAdvisor tracks and analyzes sub-segments of traffic and their correlation to revenue generation and utilizes hotel shoppers as an indicator of revenue growth. The term “hotel shoppers” is used to refer to visitors who view either a listing of hotels in a city or a specific hotel page. The number of hotel shoppers tends to vary based on seasonality of the travel industry and general economic conditions, as well as other factors outside of TripAdvisor’s control. Given these factors, as well as the trend towards increased usage on mobile devices (for which usage trends continue to evolve) and international growth, quarterly and annual hotel shopper growth is difficult to forecast. Unique hotel shoppers increased 17% and 35% for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively. The deceleration of hotel shopper growth for the year ended December 31, 2014 is primarily due to high hotel shopper growth from search engine optimization (“SEO”) for the year ended December 31, 2013, which provides for a challenging comparative. Increasing the number of hotel shoppers on TripAdvisor’s sites remains a top strategic priority.

Revenue per hotel shopper:  Revenue per hotel shopper is designed to measure how effectively TripAdvisor converts hotel shoppers into revenue and is made up of these three factors – the number of monthly unique hotel shoppers, the rate of conversion of a hotel shopper to a paid click and the price per click TripAdvisor received. Conversion on the TripAdvisor site is primarily driven by three factors: merchandising, commerce coverage and choice. TripAdvisor defines merchandising as the number and location of ads that are available on a page; TripAdvisor defines commerce coverage as whether a client can take an online booking for a particular property; and TripAdvisor defines choice as the number of clients available for any given property. Hotel shoppers visiting via mobile generally convert to a paid click at a lower rate than hotel shoppers visiting via personal computer or tablet. Cost per click is the effective CPC that online travel agencies and hoteliers are willing to pay for a hotel shopper lead, by participating in a competitive bidding process which determines the CPC price paid. CPC’s are generally lower in emerging international markets as well as on mobile, given the use case and form factor of those devices. Revenue per hotel shopper increased 7% for the years ended December 31, 2014 compared to 2013 and decreased by 13% for the year ended December, 31, 2013 in comparison to 2012. The increase in 2014 compared to 2013 is largely due to the implementation of hotel metasearch completed in June of 2013, which has resulted in higher CPC pricing paid by TripAdvisor’s partners, due to higher quality clicks being delivered, offset by relatively lower rates of hotel shopper conversion. Other factors that can impact revenue per hotel shopper include the device and IP addresses from which users access TripAdvisor and the IP address of the user. In TripAdvisor’s experience, hotel shoppers visiting on mobile devices generally exhibit a lower rate of conversion, monetize at a significantly lower rate than hotel shoppers visiting via personal computer or tablet and emerging international destinations tend to have lower CPCs associated with them. A growing percentage of TripAdvisor’s hotel shoppers are using mobile; this trend will create pressure on the revenue per hotel shopper metric, particularly if TripAdvisor fails to realize the opportunities it anticipates with the transition to more mobile users.

Key Drivers of Display-Based Advertising Revenue

For the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, approximately 11%, 13% and 12%, respectively, of TripAdvisor’s total revenue came from its display-based advertising product. The key drivers of TripAdvisor’s display-based advertising revenue include the growth in number of impressions, or the number of times an ad is displayed on TripAdvisor’s site, and the revenue received for such impressions measured in cost per thousand impressions, or CPM (or pricing). TripAdvisor’s number of impressions sold increased 19% and 34% for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively, which has typically correlated to TripAdvisor’s hotel shopper growth rates, while pricing over the same period decreased 1% and 5%, respectively.

Key Growth Areas

TripAdvisor continues to invest in areas of potential growth, including TripAdvisor’s content and community, product innovation and international expansion.

Content & CommunityTripAdvisor is an online community in which travelers share their experiences with the rest of the community. Establishing and reinforcing that sense of community is a key competitive advantage for TripAdvisor and is a component of its long-term strategic growth plan. As a result, TripAdvisor continues to look for ways to make it easier for users to enjoy a more personalized and social travel planning experience when planning their perfect trip on TripAdvisor and to share their experiences (including by leveraging social features across devices and platforms).

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Mobile.    Improving TripAdvisor’s products and engaging its community on devices other than personal computers, in particular mobile phones, are key priorities that TripAdvisor believes are critical to maintaining and growing its user base over the long term. As of December 31, 2014, TripAdvisor’s mobile apps reached nearly 175 million downloads and average monthly unique visitors via smartphone and tablet devices grew over 60% year-over-year from 87 million to 140 million. TripAdvisor anticipates that the rate of growth in mobile visitors will continue to exceed the growth rate of its overall unique monthly visitors, and that an increasing proportion of users will use mobile devices to access the full range of services available on TripAdvisor’s sites. TripAdvisor expects to continue to commit resources to improve the features, functionality and commercialization of its mobile websites and applications.

Business Listings.    TripAdvisor’s Business Listings product enable hotel and accommodation owners to buy placement for pertinent information on TripAdvisor, bringing them closer to potential customers and thereby increasing awareness, engagement, and potentially, direct bookings. In the year ended December 31, 2014, TripAdvisor grew its Business Listings customer base 18% to 81,000 subscribers. TripAdvisor continues to expand its sales force and improve features to grow its subscriber base

Vacation Rentals.    In the year ended December 31, 2014, TripAdvisor grew its Vacation Rental property inventory 19% to more than 650,000 properties, driven by strong listings growth in its free-to-list model. TripAdvisor offers individual property owners and property managers the ability to list using a free-to-list, commission-based structure or a subscription-based fee option and TripAdvisor believes its highly-engaged and motivated user community creates a competitive advantage in this market.

Restaurants & Attractions. More than half of TripAdvisor’s users are not hotel shoppers as they visit TripAdvisor without navigating to pages that contain a listing of hotels in a city or a specific hotel’s page. TripAdvisor has information and user-generated content on 2.4 million restaurants, and more than 500,000 tours and attractions in 147,000 destinations throughout the world. TripAdvisor believes it has a unique opportunity to monetize its community of these non-hotel shoppers looking for places to eat and things to do. With the acquisitions of Lafourchette for online restaurant reservations and Viator for online bookable tours and attractions, TripAdvisor is attempting to match more users with more businesses on mobile and desktop.

Current Trends Affecting TripAdvisor’s Business

Increasing Competition.  The travel review industry and, more generally, the business of collecting and aggregating travel-related resources and information, continue to be increasingly competitive. In recent years, an increasing number of companies, such as search companies Google Inc. and Baidu.com, Inc. and several large online travel agencies, have begun to collect and aggregate travel information and resources. TripAdvisor plans to continue to invest in order to remain the leading source of travel reviews as well as continuing to enhance the content and user experience.

Increasing Use of Internet and Social Media to Access Travel Information. Commerce, information and advertising continue to migrate to the Internet and away from traditional media outlets. TripAdvisor believes that this trend will continue to create strategic growth opportunities, allowing TripAdvisor to attract new consumers and develop unique and effective advertising solutions. Consumers are increasingly using online social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, as a means to communicate and exchange information, including travel information and opinions. Over the years, TripAdvisor has made significant progress using social networking to leverage the expanding use of these channels and enhance traffic diversification and user engagement. TripAdvisor will continue to adapt its user experience in response to a changing Internet environment and usage trends.

Increasing Use of Devices Other than Personal Computers.  Consumers are increasingly using devices other than personal computers, such as mobile phones, smartphones, handheld computers such as notebooks and tablets, video game consoles and television set top devices to access the Internet. To address these demands, TripAdvisor continues to extend the platform to develop phone and tablet applications to deliver travel information and resources. Although the substantial majority of users of alternative computing devices also access and engage with TripAdvisor’s websites on personal computers and tablets where advertising is displayed, users could decide to increasingly access TripAdvisor products primarily through alternative computing devices.  TripAdvisor displays graphic advertising on smartphones; however, its mobile phone monetization strategies are still developing, as mobile phone monetization is significantly less than personal

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computer and tablet monetization. Mobile phone growth and development remains a key strategy and TripAdvisor will continue to invest and innovate in this growing platform to help it maintain and grow its user base, engagement and monetization over the long term.

Continued Reliance on Click-Based Advertising Revenue.  In recent years, the majority of TripAdvisor’s revenue growth resulted from higher click-based advertising revenue due to increased traffic across its websites and an increase in the volume of clicks on advertisers’ placements. Although click-based advertising revenue growth has generally been driven by traffic volume, a focus is maintained on the various factors that could impact revenue growth, including, but not limited to, the growth in hotel shoppers, CPC pricing fluctuations, the overall economy, the ability of advertisers to monetize traffic, the quality and mix of traffic to the websites and the quality and mix of traffic from advertising placements to advertisers, as well as advertisers’ evolving approach to transaction attribution models and return on investment targets. TripAdvisor monitors and regularly responds to changes in these factors in order to strategically improve the user experience, customer satisfaction and monetization in this dynamic environment.

Risks Associated with Transaction-Based Revenue.   TripAdvisor currently derives only a small percentage of its revenue from transaction-based offerings; however, these types of offerings create additional risk and expense.  Transaction revenue is derived from making online bookings available for, among other things, hotel rooms, vacation rentals and destination activities.  During the course of making these arrangements, TripAdvisor collects, uses, transmits and stores personal information and other consumer data.  The protection of this data is critically important to TripAdvisor.  An increasing number of websites, including the website operated by its subsidiary Viator, have reported compromises of its systems and the data stored within those systems. TripAdvisor relies on strong encryption, authentication and network perimeter security to effectively secure confidential information; however, despite TripAdvisor’s security measures, TripAdvisor’s brands’ information technologies and infrastructures may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks or security incidents due to system configurations, employee error, malfeasance or other vulnerabilities.   Advances in computer capabilities, new discoveries in the field of cryptography or other developments may result in the breach or compromise of the technology used by TripAdvisor to protect transaction data.  In the future, TripAdvisor expects to expend additional resources to enhance its security measures, protect against security breaches and/or to address problems caused by breaches. As TripAdvisor expands its transaction-based businesses, the challenges will become more difficult and the measures TripAdvisor must take to protect against them will become more costly. 

Strategies and Challenges Related to BuySeasons

BuySeasons is engaged in the online costume and party supply business. In recent years, BuySeasons has faced increased competition from both internet companies and brick-and-mortar stores resulting in declining revenue and lower margins due primarily to increased marketing spend and discounting of products to drive sales. In order to try and reverse these adverse trends, BuySeasons management intends to improve its product offerings by changing its inventory mix and to change its marketing strategy to focus on more efficient marketing channels. In addition, BuySeasons has implemented cost-cutting measures across the organization, including warehouse operations, customer service and corporate expenses, to improve adjusted OIBDA margins.

Results of Operations—Consolidated

General.  We provide in the tables below information regarding our historical Consolidated Operating Results and Other Income and Expense, as well as information regarding the contribution to those items from our reportable segment. The “corporate and other” category consists of those assets or businesses which we do not disclose separately, such as BuySeasons. In addition, we provide a comparison of our historical results of operations for 2013 to pro forma results of operations for 2012 as if our acquisition of TripAdvisor had occurred as of January 1, 2012. For a more detailed

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discussion and analysis of the financial results of the principal reporting segment, see “Results of Operations—TripAdvisor” below.

Operating Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years ended December 31,

 

 

    

2014

    

2013

    

2012

 

 

 

amounts in millions

 

Revenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TripAdvisor

 

$

1,246 

 

945 

 

36 

 

Corporate and other

 

 

83 

 

89 

 

129 

 

Consolidated TripCo

 

$

1,329 

 

1,034 

 

165 

 

Adjusted OIBDA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TripAdvisor

 

$

468 

 

379 

 

 

Corporate and other

 

 

(26)

 

(18)

 

(7)

 

Consolidated TripCo

 

$

442 

 

361 

 

 

Operating Income (Loss)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TripAdvisor

 

$

101 

 

 

(5)

 

Corporate and other

 

 

(33)

 

(25)

 

(49)

 

Consolidated TripCo

 

$

68 

 

(17)

 

(54)

 

 

Revenue.  Our consolidated revenue increased $295 million and $869 million for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively, as compared to the corresponding prior year periods. TripAdvisor revenue increased $301 million during the year ended December 31, 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013, primarily due to an increase in click-based advertising revenue of $174 million, an increase in display-based advertising of $21 million as well as growth in Vacation Rentals and other revenue related to the 2014 acquisitions of Lafourchette and Viator. The significant increase in revenue during 2013 was the result of the full year consolidation of TripAdvisor as compared to 20 days in 2012. Revenue for BuySeasons declined for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013, as compared to the corresponding prior periods, due primarily to increased market pressure and competition. Other costume retailers, both on-line and bricks-and-mortar retailers were more aggressive in marketing and promotions and BuySeasons inventory mix had become less compelling for consumers. For the year ended December 31, 2014, as compared to the prior year period, BuySeasons’ order volume decreased 10% and average order valued decreased by 8%. For the year ended December 31, 2013, as compared to the prior year period, order volume decreased 42%, which was partially offset by a 3% increase in average order value. BuySeasons expects in future periods to focus on better inventory offerings and spend marketing dollars in more efficient channels. See “Results of Operations—TripAdvisor” below for a more complete discussion of the results of operations of TripAdvisor.

Adjusted OIBDA.  We define Adjusted OIBDA as revenue less cost of sales, operating expenses and selling, general and administrative (SG&A”) expenses (excluding stock compensation). Our chief operating decision maker and management team use this measure of performance in conjunction with other measures to evaluate our businesses and make decisions about allocating resources among our businesses. We believe this is an important indicator of the operational strength and performance of our businesses, including each business’s ability to service debt and fund capital expenditures. In addition, this measure allows us to view operating results, perform analytical comparisons and benchmarking between businesses and identify strategies to improve performance. This measure of performance excludes such costs as depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation and restructuring and impairment charges that are included in the measurement of operating income pursuant to GAAP. Accordingly, Adjusted OIBDA should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for, operating income, net income, cash flow provided by operating activities and other measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. See note 13 to the accompanying December 31, 2014 consolidated financial statements for a reconciliation of Adjusted OIBDA to earnings (loss) before income taxes.

Consolidated Adjusted OIBDA increased approximately $81 million and $360 million for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively, as compared to the corresponding prior year periods. Adjusted OIBDA in

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TripAdvisor increased $89 million during the year ended December 31, 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013, due to an increase in revenue, partially offset by increased personnel, overhead costs, and other online traffic acquisition costs. The significant increase in Adjusted OIBDA during 2013 was the result of the full year consolidation of TripAdvisor offset slightly by declining results for BuySeasons. BuySeasons’ results have been in decline over the past two years. BuySeasons’ adjusted OIBDA declined for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013, as compared to the corresponding prior periods, primarily as a result of decreased revenue and declining product margin. Product margin was 21% in 2014, 22% in 2013 and 31% in 2012. The decline in product margin was the result of continued discounting of product to meet market pricing for costumes and sell through of aged inventory. Also negatively impacting BuySeasons Adjusted OIBDA in 2014 and 2013 were operating expenses, which, while remaining flat in absolute dollar terms, increased as a percentage of revenue from 11% in 2012 to 15% in 2013 and to 16% in 2014. Additionally, SG&A expenses increased 32% in 2014 and decreased 45% in 2013 but remained at approximately 18% of revenue for each period presented.

BuySeasons expects to continue to discount product prices in future periods to stay competitive with the overall market but anticipates some cost containment measures, related to the operation of a smaller business, which is expected to improve overall Adjusted OIBDA if these efforts are successful. We expect BuySeasons, based on growth projections and cost-containment initiatives, to be Adjusted OIBDA positive again within a few years. BuySeasons also recognized additional inventory adjustments of $3 million during the year ended December 31, 2012 as inventory continued to build as a result of decreased sales. See “Results of Operations—TripAdvisor” below for a more complete discussion of the results of operations of TripAdvisor.

Operating Income (Loss).  Our consolidated operating income increased $85 million and operating loss decreased $37 million for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively, as compared to the corresponding prior year periods. The significant increase in 2014 is related to the increase in revenue from TripAdvisor. The significant increase in 2013  was the result of the full year consolidation of TripAdvisor’s results offset by amortization related to intangibles recorded upon obtaining control of TripAdvisor. See “Results of Operations—TripAdvisor” below for a more complete discussion of the results of operations of TripAdvisor.

Other Income and Expense

Components of Other Income (Expense) are presented in the table below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years ended December 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

 

 

 

(amounts in millions)

 

Interest expense (including related party)

    

 

    

    

    

    

    

 

TripAdvisor

 

$

(11)

 

(10)

 

(1)

 

Corporate and other

 

 

(2)

 

(2)

 

 —

 

Consolidated TripCo

 

$

(13)

 

(12)

 

(1)

 

Share of earnings (losses) of affiliates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TripAdvisor

 

$

 —

 

 —

 

 —

 

Corporate and other

 

 

 —

 

 —

 

38 

 

Consolidated TripCo

 

$

 —

 

 —

 

38 

 

Gains (losses) on transactions, net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TripAdvisor

 

$

 —

 

(1)

 

 —

 

Corporate and other

 

 

 —

 

 —

 

1,088 

 

Consolidated TripCo

 

$

 —

 

(1)

 

1,088 

 

Other, net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TripAdvisor

 

$

(11)

 

 

 —

 

Corporate and other

 

 

 —

 

 —

 

33 

 

Consolidated TripCo

 

$

(11)

 

 

33 

 

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Interest expense.  Interest expense remained relatively flat for the year ended December 31, 2014 and increased $11 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, as compared to the corresponding prior year periods. The 2013 increase was primarily the result of the consolidation of TripAdvisor and the inclusion of the interest expense related to TripAdvisor’s debt. The 2012 interest expense reflects approximately one month of interest expense whereas 2013 includes a full year of interest expense in accordance with the consolidation of TripAdvisor during December 2012.

Share of earnings (losses) of affiliates.  During the fourth quarter of 2011, Expedia, Inc. completed the pro-rata spin-off of TripAdvisor, its former wholly owned subsidiary. During the second quarter of 2012 we disposed of approximately 8.5 million shares of TripAdvisor and then subsequently in the fourth quarter of 2012 we acquired approximately 5 million shares along with the right to control the vote of the shares of TripAdvisor’s common stock and Class B common stock. Following the transaction we own approximately 22% of the equity and 57% of the total votes of all classes of TripAdvisor common stock. As we now control TripAdvisor we ceased accounting for our investment using the equity method of accounting and consolidated TripAdvisor for the last 20 days of 2012. Share of earnings for TripAdvisor for the year ended December 31, 2012 only includes TripCo’s share of earnings in TripAdvisor through December 10, 2012.

Gains (losses) on transactions, net.    The net loss on transactions for the year ended December 31, 2013 primarily relates to losses on the disposal of certain TripAdvisor fixed assets. The gains on transactions for the year ended December 31, 2012 relate to our acquisition of a controlling interest in TripAdvisor, and a gain on the sale of TripAdvisor shares ($288 million) during the year ended December 31, 2012. In December 2012, as discussed above, we acquired an additional ownership interest in TripAdvisor and the right to vote our shares of its Class B common stock. The application of business combination accounting, as a result of the acquisition, for TripAdvisor required the recognition of an $800 million gain which was the difference between the fair value of our previously held interest in TripAdvisor and the carrying value of the same ownership interest.

Other, net.  For the year ended December 31, 2014 other, net primarily consisted of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. During the year ended December 31, 2013 other, net primarily consisted of interest earned and amortization of discounts and premiums on TripAdvisor’s marketable securities. The increase in interest income in 2013 is primarily due to the fact that TripAdvisor began investing in marketable securities during the fourth quarter of 2012. The primary component of other, net for the year ended December 31, 2012 was the recognition of a gain on the impact of TripAdvisor issuing additional equity during the year, at an amount in excess of our per share investment, while TripAdvisor was accounted for as an equity method affiliate. TripAdvisor issued shares under an outstanding warrant agreement which generated additional paid in capital above the TripCo cost basis in the shares.

Income taxes.  Our income tax benefit (expense) for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 was $(35) million, $55 million and $(124) million, respectively. During 2014, the Company incurred aggregate income tax expense related to an increase in its estimate of the state effective tax rate used to measure its net deferred tax liabilities, based on a change to the Company’s estimated state apportionment factors and an increase in its unrecognized tax benefits. This income tax expense was partially offset with income tax benefits for earnings in foreign jurisdictions taxed at rates lower than the 35% U.S. federal tax rate. The 2013 effective tax rate is greater than the U.S. federal income tax rate of 35% due primarily to a change in the corporate effective state tax rate for outstanding deferred tax liabilities and assets of TripCo due to a change in the apportionment of income to various states. The 2012 effective tax rate is less than the U.S. federal income tax rate of 35% due primarily to the consolidation of TripAdvisor in the current period that triggered a gain for accounting purposes but not for tax purposes offset slightly by a goodwill impairment which is not deductible for tax purposes. 

Net earnings (loss).  We had a net loss of $22 million,  $7 million and net earnings of $983 million for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The change in net earnings was the result of the above-described fluctuations in our revenue, expenses and other gains and losses.

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Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of December 31, 2014, substantially all of our cash and cash equivalents consist of cash on hand in global financial institutions, money market funds and marketable securities, with maturities of 90 days or less at the date purchased.

The following are potential sources of liquidity: available cash balances, proceeds from asset sales, monetization of our investments, outstanding or anticipated debt facilities, debt and equity issuances, and dividend and interest receipts.

As of December 31, 2014 TripCo had a cash balance of $509 million. Approximately $455 million of the cash balance is held at TripAdvisor. Although TripCo has a 57% voting interest in TripAdvisor, TripAdvisor is a separate public company with a significant non-controlling interest, as TripCo has only a 22% economic interest in TripAdvisor. Even though TripCo controls TripAdvisor through its voting interest and board representation, decision making with respect to using TripAdvisor’s cash balances must consider TripAdvisor’s minority holders. Accordingly, any potential distributions of cash from TripAdvisor to TripCo would generally be on a pro rata basis based on economic ownership interests. As of December 31, 2014, approximately $296 million of TripCo cash is held by TripAdvisor foreign subsidiaries. Cash in foreign subsidiaries is generally accessible but certain tax consequences may reduce the net amount of cash TripAdvisor is able to utilize for domestic purposes. Historically, TripAdvisor’s operating cash flows have been sufficient to fund its working capital requirements, capital expenditures and long term debt obligations and other financial commitments and are expected to be sufficient in future periods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years ended

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

 

 

 

(amounts in millions)

 

Cash flow information

    

 

    

    

    

    

    

 

Net cash provided (used) by operating activities

 

$

365 

 

336 

 

(19)

 

Net cash provided (used) by investing activities

 

$

(242)

 

(205)

 

425 

 

Net cash provided (used) by financing activities

 

$

40 

 

(147)

 

(38)

 

 

During the year ended December 31, 2014, TripCo’s primary uses of cash were approximately $331 million to fund acquisitions by TripAdvisor, $348 million distribution to Liberty prior to the Trip Spin-Off and $90 million capital expenditures.  During the year ended December 31, 2013, TripCo’s primary uses of cash were approximately $145 million of shares repurchased by TripAdvisor, $107 million of net investments in short term investments and $60 million capital expenditures. These uses of cash were funded primarily with cash provided by operationsDuring the year ended December 31, 2012, TripCo’s primary uses of cash were approximately $300 million to acquire a controlling interest in TripAdvisor which was funded with $338 million of cash proceeds from the sale of 8.5 million shares of TripAdvisor earlier in the year. Uses of cash in the prior years were related to the operations of BuySeasons including capital expenditures and debt repayments.

The projected use of TripCo’s corporate cash will be to primarily fund any operational cash deficits at BuySeasons and to pay a fee (not expected to exceed $4 million annually) to Liberty Media for providing certain services pursuant to the services agreement and the facilities sharing agreement. We anticipate that TripCo’s corporate cash balance (without other financial resources potentially available as discussed above) to be sufficient to maintain operations for approximately five years. The debt service costs of the Margin Loan Agreements described elsewhere are paid in kind and become outstanding principal. At the maturity of the Margin Loan Agreements, a number of options are available to satisfy the loan. TripAdvisor’s projected use of cash will primarily consist of repayments of interest and principal on the TripAdvisor Term Loan and Chinese credit facilities, payment of lease obligations, the repurchase of TripAdvisor common stock under TripAdvisor’s stock repurchase program approved in 2013 and potential investments or acquisitions in new or existing businesses.

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Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements and Aggregate Contractual Obligations

We have contingent liabilities related to legal and tax proceedings and other matters arising in the ordinary course of business including potential tax obligations associated with certain transactions following the Trip Spin-Off. Although it is reasonably possible we may incur losses upon conclusion of such matters, an estimate of any loss or range of loss cannot be made. In the opinion of management, it is expected that amounts, if any, which may be required to satisfy such contingencies will not be material in relation to the accompanying consolidated financial statements.

Information concerning the amount and timing of required payments, both accrued and off-balance sheet, under our contractual obligations, excluding uncertain tax positions as it is undeterminable when payments will be made, is summarized below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payments due by period

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than

 

 

 

 

 

After

 

 

 

Total

 

1 year

 

2 - 3 years

 

4 - 5 years

 

5 years

 

 

 

(amounts in millions)

 

Consolidated contractual obligations

    

 

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

 

Long-term debt(1)

 

$

742 

 

78 

 

664 

 

 —

 

 —

 

Interest payments(2)

 

$

58 

 

 

 

47 

 

 —

 

Operating lease obligations

 

$

150 

 

20 

 

34 

 

33 

 

63 

 

Build to suit lease obligation

 

$

143 

 

 

18 

 

18 

 

106 

 

Total

 

$

1,093 

 

106 

 

720 

 

98 

 

169 

 

 


(1)

Amounts are stated at the face amount at maturity of our debt instruments. Amounts also include capital lease obligations. Amounts do not assume additional borrowings or refinancings of existing debt. The outstanding Chinese credit facility has been included as a current payment as the facility is short term in nature.

(2)

Amounts (i) are based on our outstanding debt at December 31, 2014, (ii) assume the interest rates on our variable rate debt remain constant at the December 31, 2014 rates and (iii) assume that our existing debt is repaid at maturity.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

The preparation of our financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Listed below are the accounting estimates that we believe are critical to our financial statements due to the degree of uncertainty regarding the estimates or assumptions involved and the magnitude of the asset, liability, revenue or expense being reported.

Recognition and Recoverability of Goodwill, Intangible and Long-lived Assets

We account for acquired businesses using the purchase method of accounting which requires that the assets acquired and liabilities assumed be recorded at the date of acquisition at their respective fair values. Any excess of the purchase price over the estimated fair values of the net assets acquired is recorded as goodwill. We test goodwill for impairment at the reporting unit level (operating segment or one level below an operating segment). Goodwill is allocated to our reporting units at the date the goodwill is initially recorded. Once goodwill has been allocated to the reporting units, it no longer retains its identification with a particular acquisition and becomes identified with the reporting unit in its entirety. Accordingly, the fair value of the reporting unit as a whole is available to support the recoverability of its goodwill.

Our non-financial instrument valuations are primarily comprised of our annual assessment of the recoverability of our goodwill and other nonamortizable intangibles, such as trademarks and our evaluation of the recoverability of our other long-lived assets upon certain triggering events and the initial recognition of such assets through the application of the purchase accounting method. If the carrying value of our definite lived intangible assets and long-lived assets exceeds their undiscounted cash flows, we are required to write the carrying value down to fair value. Any such writedown is

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included in impairment of long-lived assets in our consolidated statement of operations. A high degree of judgment is required to estimate the fair value of our long-lived assets. We may use quoted market prices, prices for similar assets, present value techniques and other valuation techniques to prepare these estimates. We may need to make estimates of future cash flows and discount rates as well as other assumptions in order to implement these valuation techniques. Due to the high degree of judgment involved in our estimation techniques, any value ultimately derived from our long-lived assets may differ from our estimate of fair value. As each of our operating segments has long-lived assets, this critical accounting policy affects the financial position and results of operations of each segment.

As of December 31, 2014, the intangible assets not subject to amortization for each of our significant reportable segments was as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodwill

 

Trademarks

 

Total

 

 

 

(amounts in millions)

 

TripAdvisor

    

$

3,691 

 

1,817 

 

5,508 

 

Corporate and other

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

 

$

3,691 

 

1,819 

 

5,510 

 

 

We perform our annual assessment of the recoverability of our goodwill and other non-amortizable intangible assets during the fourth quarter, or more frequently, if events and circumstances indicate impairment may have occurred. We adopted accounting guidance relating to annual assessments of recoverability of goodwill and other non-amortizable intangibles during the current and prior years and at year-end we utilized a qualitative assessment for determining whether step one of the goodwill impairment analysis was necessary. During the year ended December 31, 2012 we recorded $39 million in goodwill impairments for the BuySeasons retail business. Continued declining operating results as compared to budgeted results and certain trends required a Step 2 impairment test and a determination of fair value. Fair value, including intangible assets and goodwill, was determined using TripCo projections of future operating performance and applying a combination of market multiples and a discounted cash flow calculation (Level 3).

Websites and Internal Use Software Development Costs

Our subsidiaries capitalize certain costs incurred during the application development stage related to the development of websites and internal use software when it is probable the project will be completed and the software will be used as intended. Such costs are amortized on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of the related asset, generally estimated to be three years. Capitalized costs include internal and external costs, if direct and incremental, and deemed by management to be significant. The costs related to the planning and post-implementation phases of software and website development are expensed as these costs are incurred. Maintenance and enhancement costs (including those costs in the post-implementation stages) are typically expensed as incurred, unless such costs relate to substantial upgrades and enhancements to the website or software resulting in added functionality, in which case the costs are capitalized.  Future changes to the manner in which developing and testing new features and functionalities related to our subsidiaries’ websites and internal use software, assessing the ongoing value of capitalized assets or determining the estimated useful lives over which the costs are amortized, could change the amount of website and internal use software development costs capitalized and amortized in future periods.

Revenue Recognition

Revenue Recognition.  Revenue is recognized from advertising services and the sale of goods when the following four revenue recognition criteria are met: persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, services have been rendered, the price is fixed or determinable, and collectability is reasonably assured. Deferred revenue, which primarily relates to subscription-based programs, is recorded when payments are received in advance of TripAdvisor’s performance as required by the underlying agreements.

Click-based Advertising.  Revenue is derived primarily from click-through fees charged to TripAdvisor’s travel partners for traveler leads sent to the travel partners’ website. TripAdvisor records revenue from click-through fees after the traveler makes the click-through to the travel partners’ websites. Instant Booking commission revenue is recorded at the time a traveler books a hotel transaction on TripAdvisor’s site where TripAdvisor does not assume cancellation risk.

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In transactions in which TripAdvisor assumes cancellation risk, it records revenue when it receives cash from its travel partners, given the current uncertainty of the traveler’s stay. TripAdvisor has no post-booking service obligations for Instant Booking transactions.

Display and Other Advertising.  TripAdvisor recognizes display advertising revenue ratably over the advertising period or upon delivery of advertising impressions, depending on the terms of the advertising contract. Subscription-based revenue is recognized ratably over the related contractual period over which service is delivered.  

Subscriptions, Transactions and Other.    Subscription revenue, from the vacation rentals and restaurants businesses, is recorded as deferred revenue and recognized ratably on a straight-line basis over the contractual period over which the respective service is delivered. TripAdvisor recognizes reservation revenue from the restaurant business on a transaction-by-transaction basis as diners are seated by its restaurant customers. The transactions revenue, from the vacation rentals and attractions businesses, is primarily commission based revenue which is recorded as deferred revenue and recognized upon completion of stays or activities or as the consumer’s refund privileges lapse.  Additionally, cash is typically collected at the time of booking and recorded as deferred merchant payables in the consolidated balance sheet and later paid to the merchant after the stay or activity.

Income Taxes

We are required to estimate the amount of tax payable or refundable for the current year and the deferred income tax liabilities and assets for the future tax consequences of events that have been reflected in our financial statements or tax returns for each taxing jurisdiction in which we operate. This process requires our management to make judgments regarding the timing and probability of the ultimate tax impact of the various agreements and transactions that we enter into. Based on these judgments we may record tax reserves or adjustments to valuation allowances on deferred tax assets to reflect the expected realizability of future tax benefits. Actual income taxes could vary from these estimates due to future changes in income tax law, significant changes in the jurisdictions in which we operate, our inability to generate sufficient future taxable income or unpredicted results from the final determination of each year’s liability by taxing authorities. These changes could have a significant impact on our financial position.

Additionally, TripAdvisor records liabilities to address uncertain tax positions taken in previously filed tax returns or that are expected to be taken in a future tax return. The determination for required liabilities is based upon an analysis of each individual tax position, taking into consideration whether it is more likely than not that the tax position, based on its technical merits, will be sustained upon examination. For those positions for which a conclusion is reached that it is more likely than not it will be sustained, the largest amount of tax benefit that is greater than 50% likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement with the taxing authority is recognized. The difference between the amount recognized and the total tax position is recorded as a liability. The ultimate resolution of these tax positions may be greater or less than the liabilities recorded.

TripAdvisor has not provided for deferred U.S. income taxes on undistributed earnings of certain foreign subsidiaries that are intended to be reinvested permanently outside the United States. Should the earnings of foreign subsidiaries be distributed in the form of dividends or otherwise, they may be subject to U.S. income taxes. Due to complexities in tax laws and various assumptions that would have to be made, it is not practicable, at this time, to estimate the amount of unrecognized deferred U.S. taxes on these earnings.

Stock-Based Compensation

The exercise price for all stock options granted is equal to the market price of the underlying shares of common stock at the date of grant. In this regard, when making stock option awards, the practice is to determine the applicable grant date and to specify that the exercise price shall be the fair value of the respective common stock on the date of grant. Stock options granted during the year ended December 31, 2014 typically have a term of ten years from the date of grant and generally vest over a four-year period.

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The estimated fair value of options granted to date is calculated using the Black-Scholes model. The Black-Scholes model incorporates assumptions to value stock-based awards, which includes the risk-free rate of return, volatility, expected term and expected dividend yield.

The risk-free interest rate is based on the rates currently available on zero-coupon U.S. Treasury issues, in effect at the time of the grant, whose remaining maturity period most closely approximates the stock option’s expected term assumption. The volatility of the respective common stock is estimated by using an average of TripAdvisor’s historical stock price volatility and that of publicly traded companies that are considered peers based on daily price observations over a period equivalent or approximate to the expected term of the stock option grants. The decision to use a weighted average volatility factor of a peer group was based upon the relatively short period of availability of data on the respective common stock. The expected term was estimated using the simplified method for all stock options. The expected dividend yield is zero, as no dividends have been paid on the respective common stocks to date.

The fair value of stock options, net of estimated forfeitures, is amortized as stock-based compensation expense over the vesting term on a straight-line basis, with the amount of compensation expense recognized at any date at least equaling the portion of the grant-date fair value of the award that is vested at that date.

Results of Operations—TripAdvisor

Our economic ownership interest in TripAdvisor is 22% and our results include the consolidated results of TripAdvisor and the elimination of approximately 78% of TripAdvisor’s net income (loss), including purchase accounting adjustments, through the noncontrolling interest line item in the consolidated statement of operations. TripAdvisor is a separate publicly traded company and additional information about TripAdvisor can be obtained through its website and its public filings. Given that TripAdvisor represents a significant portion of TripCo, we believe a discussion of TripAdvisor’s stand alone results promotes a better understanding of overall results of their business. TripAdvisor’s revenue, Adjusted OIBDA and operating income on a standalone basis for the years ended 2014, 2013 and 2012 were as follows (see tables below for a reconciliation of TripAdvisor’s standalone results to those amounts reported by TripCo):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years ended

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

 

 

 

(amounts in millions)

 

Revenue

    

 

    

    

    

    

    

 

Click-based advertising

 

$

870 

 

696 

 

588 

 

Display-based advertising

 

 

140 

 

119 

 

94 

 

Subscription, transaction and other

 

 

236 

 

130 

 

81 

 

Total revenue

 

 

1,246 

 

945 

 

763 

 

Operating expense

 

 

184 

 

127 

 

88 

 

SG&A

 

 

594 

 

439 

 

323 

 

Adjusted OIBDA

 

 

468 

 

379 

 

352 

 

Stock based compensation

 

 

63 

 

49 

 

30 

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

65 

 

35 

 

26 

 

Operating income (loss) as reported by TripAdvisor

 

$

340 

 

295 

 

296 

 

 

Revenue

TripAdvisor derives substantially all of its revenue through the sale of advertising, primarily through click-based advertising and, to a lesser extent, display-based advertising. In addition, TripAdvisor earns revenue through a combination of subscription-based and transaction-based offerings related to its Business Listings and subscription and commission-based offerings from its Vacation Rentals products, transaction revenue from selling room nights on its transactional sites, selling destination activities and fulfilling online restaurant reservation through Viator and Lafourchette, respectively, and other revenue including content licensing. Revenue increased $301 million during the year ended December 31, 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013, primarily due to an increase in click-based advertising revenue of $174 million. The primary driver of the increase in click-based advertising revenue was an increase in hotel shoppers of 17% and an

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increase in revenue per hotel shopper of 7% for the year ended December 31, 2014. Display-based advertising increased by $21 million during the year ended December 31, 2014, primarily as a result of a 19% increase in the number of impressions sold when compared to the same period in 2013, primarily due to increased sales productivity, advertising technology improvements that have enhanced marketers’ ability to target, coupled with worldwide growth particularly in emerging markets, partially offset by a decrease in pricing by 1% for the same period. Subscription, transaction and other revenue increased by $106 million during the year ended December 31, 2014, primarily due to growth in its Business Listings and Vacation Rentals products, as well as revenue generated by the businesses it acquired during 2014 of $43 million.

Revenue increased $182 million during the year ended December 31, 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012, primarily due to an increase in click-based advertising revenue of $108 million. The primary driver of the increase in click-based advertising revenue was an increase in hotel shoppers of 35% for the year ended December 31, 2013, partially offset by lower revenue per hotel shopper of 13% for the year ended December 31, 2013, primarily due to a combination of lower user conversion related to our transition to hotel metasearch, growth in hotel shoppers on smartphones, which have a lower monetization rate than desktops and tablets, and growth in emerging international markets that are currently monetizing at lower levels than TripAdvisor’s mature markets. Display-based advertising increased by $25 million during the year ended December 31, 2013, primarily as a result of a 34% increase in the number of impressions sold due to increased sales productivity coupled with its new Delayed Ad Call product, and worldwide growth particularly in emerging markets when compared to the same period in 2013, partially offset by a decrease in pricing by 5% for the year ended December 31, 2013. Subscription, transaction and other revenue increased by $49 million during the year ended December 31, 2013, primarily due to growth in its Business Listings and Vacation Rentals products.

TripAdvisor’s international revenue represented 52%, 51%, and 49% of its total revenue during the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013, and 2012, respectively. TripAdvisor’s increase in international revenue, in absolute dollars and as a percentage of total revenue, is primarily due to additional investment in international expansion and growth in international hotel shoppers. See note 13 in the accompanying consolidated financial statements for further details of revenue by geographic area.

Adjusted OIBDA

Adjusted OIBDA as a percentage of revenue has declined year over year as TripAdvisor continues to invest in the business and the brand. The primary expenses that drive Adjusted OIBDA results are operating expense (primarily technology and content costs), sales and marketing and general and administrative expense.

Technology and Content

Technology and content expenses consist of personnel and overhead expenses, including salaries and benefits, stock-based compensation expense and bonuses for salaried employees and contractors engaged in the design, development, testing, content support and maintenance of the TripAdvisor website and its mobile apps. Other costs include licensing, maintenance expense, computer supply and technology hardware.

Technology and content costs increased $40 million during the year ended December 31, 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013, primarily due to increased personnel costs from increased headcount to support business growth, including international expansion and enhanced site features, as well as additional personnel costs related to employees joining us through recent business acquisitions and also increased stock-based compensation costs.  In total, its restaurant and attraction businesses contributed $6 million to its technology and content expense in 2014, of which $4 million related to personnel and overhead. 

Technology and content costs increased $44 million during the year ended December 31, 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012, primarily due to increased personnel costs from increased headcount to support business growth, including international expansion, enhanced site features, extending its products onto smartphone and tablet platforms, and development of its hotel metasearch product, as well as an increase in stock based compensation and additional personnel costs related to employees joining TripAdvisor through recent business acquisitions.

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Selling and Marketing

Sales and marketing expenses primarily consist of direct costs, including search engine marketing, or SEM, other traffic acquisition costs, syndication costs and affiliate program commissions, brand advertising and public relations. In addition, indirect sales and marketing expense consists of personnel and overhead expenses, including salaries, commissions, benefits, stock-based compensation expense and bonuses for sales, sales support, customer support and marketing employees.

Direct selling and marketing costs increased $104 million during the year ended December 31, 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013, primarily due to increased SEM costs, other online traffic acquisition costs, costs related to its television campaign, in addition to incremental costs from TripAdvisor’s recent business acquisitions, partially offset by a decrease in spending in social media costs and other offline advertising costs, excluding television advertising. TripAdvisor spent $33 million on its new television campaign during the year ended December 31, 2014, which was launched in May 2014.  Personnel and overhead costs increased $30 million during the year ended December 31, 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013, primarily due to an increase in headcount to support business growth, including international expansion and employees joining TripAdvisor through recent business acquisitions, which also increased stock-based compensation costs. In total, its restaurant and attraction businesses contributed $25 million to its selling and marketing expense in 2014, of which $8 million related to personnel and overhead. 

Direct selling and marketing costs increased $66 million during the year ended December 31, 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012, primarily due to increased SEM costs, other traffic acquisition costs and brand advertising costs, and an increase in offline advertising costs, primarily television advertising of $30 million, partially offset by a decrease in spending in social media costs. Personnel and overhead costs increased $36 million during the year ended December 31, 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012, primarily due to an increase in headcount to support business growth, including international expansion and employees joining TripAdvisor through recent business acquisitions, and also increased stock-based compensation costs.

General and Administrative

General and administrative expense consists primarily of personnel and related overhead costs, including executive leadership, finance, legal and human resource functions and stock-based compensation as well as professional service fees and other fees including audit, legal, tax and accounting, and other costs including bad debt expense and charitable foundation costs.

General and administrative costs increased $30 million during the year ended December 31, 2014, when compared to the same period in 2013, primarily due to personnel costs and overhead costs related to an increase in headcount to support its business operations, as well as additional personnel costs related to employees joining TripAdvisor through recent business acquisitions and professional fees primarily related to its 2014 business acquisitions, higher charitable contributions and increased bad debt expense. In total, its restaurant and attraction businesses contributed $8 million to its cost of revenue in 2014, of which $5 million related to personnel and overhead. 

General and administrative costs increased $22 million during the year ended December 31, 2013, when compared to the same period in 2012, primarily due to increased personnel costs related to an increase in stock-based compensation, as well as increased headcount to support business growth and additional professional service fees in order to support its  operations and an increase in its bad debt provision.

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The following is a reconciliation of the results as reported by TripAdvisor, used for comparison purposes as discussed above, for a greater understanding of the stand-alone operations of TripAdvisor to the results reported by TripCo (amounts in millions):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year ended December 31, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purchase

 

 

 

 

 

As Reported

 

Accounting

 

As Reported

 

 

 

By TripAdvisor

 

Adjustments

 

By TripCo

 

Revenue

    

$

1,246 

    

 —

    

1,246 

 

Operating expense

 

 

(184)

 

 —

 

(184)

 

Selling, general and administrative expense

 

 

(594)

 

 —

 

(594)

 

Adjusted OIBDA

 

 

468 

 

 —

 

468 

 

Stock-based compensation expense

 

 

(63)

 

(10)

 

(73)

 

Depreciation and amortization expense

 

 

(65)

 

(229)

 

(294)

 

Operating income (loss)

 

$

340 

 

(239)

 

101 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year ended December 31, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purchase

 

 

 

 

 

As Reported

 

Accounting

 

As Reported

 

 

 

By TripAdvisor

 

Adjustments

 

By TripCo

 

Revenue

    

$

945 

    

 —

    

945 

 

Operating expense

 

 

(127)

 

 —

 

(127)

 

Selling, general and administrative expense

 

 

(439)

 

 —

 

(439)

 

Adjusted OIBDA

 

 

379 

 

 —

 

379 

 

Stock-based compensation expense

 

 

(49)

 

(11)

 

(60)

 

Depreciation and amortization expense

 

 

(35)

 

(276)

 

(311)

 

Operating income (loss)

 

$

295 

 

(287)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 7A.  Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk.

We are exposed to market risk in the normal course of business due to our ongoing investing and financial activities and the conduct of operations by our subsidiaries in different foreign countries. Market risk refers to the risk of loss arising from adverse changes in stock prices, interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates. The risk of loss can be assessed from the perspective of adverse changes in fair values, cash flows and future earnings. We have established policies, procedures and internal processes governing our management of market risks and the use of financial instruments to manage our exposure to such risks.

We are exposed to changes in interest rates primarily as a result of our borrowing and investment activities, which include investments in fixed and floating rate debt instruments and borrowings used to maintain liquidity and to fund business operations. The nature and amount of our long-term and short-term debt are expected to vary as a result of future requirements, market conditions and other factors. We manage our exposure to interest rates by maintaining what we believe is an appropriate mix of fixed and variable rate debt. We believe this best protects us from interest rate risk. We expect to achieve this mix by (i) issuing fixed rate debt that we believe has a low stated interest rate and significant term to maturity, (ii) issuing variable rate debt with appropriate maturities and interest rates and (iii) entering into interest rate swap arrangements when we deem appropriate.  As of December 31, 2014, our debt is comprised of the following amounts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variable rate debt

 

Fixed rate debt

 

 

    

Principal

    

Weighted avg

    

Principal

    

Weighted avg

 

 

 

amount

 

interest rate

 

amount

 

interest rate

 

 

 

dollar amounts in millions

 

TripAdvisor

 

$

338 

 

2.1 

%  

 

 —

 

N/A

 

Corporate and other

 

$

404 

 

3.7 

%  

 

 —

 

N/A

 

 

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TripCo is exposed to foreign exchange rate fluctuations related primarily to the monetary assets and liabilities and the financial results of TripAdvisor's foreign subsidiaries. Assets and liabilities of foreign subsidiaries for which the functional currency is the local currency are translated into U.S. dollars at period-end exchange rates, and the statements of operations are generally translated at the average exchange rate for the period. Exchange rate fluctuations on translating foreign currency financial statements into U.S. dollars that result in unrealized gains or losses are referred to as translation adjustments. Cumulative translation adjustments are recorded in accumulated other comprehensive earnings (loss) as a separate component of stockholders' equity. Transactions denominated in currencies other than the functional currency are recorded based on exchange rates at the time such transactions arise. Subsequent changes in exchange rates result in transaction gains and losses, which are reflected in income as unrealized (based on period-end translations) or realized upon settlement of the transactions. Cash flows from our operations in foreign countries are translated at the average rate for the period. Accordingly, TripCo may experience economic loss and a negative impact on earnings and equity with respect to our holdings solely as a result of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.

Item 8.  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

The consolidated financial statements of Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. are filed under this Item, beginning on Page II-19.  The financial statement schedules required by Regulation S-X are filed under Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10K.

Item 9.  Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.

 

None.

Item 9A.  Controls and Procedures.

In accordance with Exchange Act Rules 13a-15 and 15d-15, the Company carried out an evaluation, under the supervision and with the participation of management, including its chief executive officer and its principal accounting and financial officer (the "Executives"), of the effectiveness of its disclosure controls and procedures as of the end of the period covered by this report. Based on that evaluation, the Executives concluded that the Company's disclosure controls and procedures were effective as of December 31, 2014 to provide reasonable assurance that information required to be disclosed in its reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the Securities and Exchange Commission's rules and forms.

This annual report does not include a report on management’s assessment regarding internal control over financial reporting or an attestation report of the company’s registered public accounting firm due to a transition period established by the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission for newly public companies.

There has been no change in the Company's internal control over financial reporting that occurred during the three months ended December 31, 2014 that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, its internal control over financial reporting.

Item 9B.  Other Information.

None.

 

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

The Board of Directors and Stockholders
Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc.:

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. (the Company) (as defined in note 1) as of December 31, 2014 and 2013, and the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive earnings (loss), cash flows, and equity for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2014. These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements based on our audits. We did not audit the financial statements of TripAdvisor, Inc., an equity method investment for the period from January 1, 2012 to December 10, 2012 and a consolidated company for the period from December 11, 2012 to December 31, 2013, which statements reflect total assets constituting 21 percent as of December 31, 2013 and total revenue constituting 91 percent and 22 percent in 2013 and 2012, respectively, of the related consolidated totals. The Company's equity in earnings of TripAdvisor, Inc. included $41,146,000 in 2012 that we did not audit. The 2013 and 2012 financial statements of TripAdvisor, Inc. were audited by other auditors whose report has been furnished to us, and our opinion, insofar as it relates to the amounts included for TripAdvisor, Inc., is based solely on the report of the other auditors.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits and the report of the other auditors provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

In our opinion, based on our audits and the report of the other auditors, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. as of December 31, 2014 and 2013, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2014, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

 

 

/s/ KPMG LLP

Denver, Colorado
March 12, 2015

 

 

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LIBERTY TRIPADVISOR HOLDINGS, INC.

Consolidated Balance Sheets

December 31, 2014 and 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

2014

    

2013

 

 

 

amounts in millions

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

509 

 

354 

 

Trade and other receivables, net of allowance for doubtful accounts of $7 million and $4 million, respectively