|TRIVAGO N.V. filed this Form 20-F on 03/06/2018|
The introduction of certain technologies may reduce the effectiveness of our services. For example, some of our services and marketing activities rely on cookies, which are placed on individual browsers when users visit websites. We use these cookies to optimize our marketing campaigns and our advertisers’ campaigns, to better understand our users’ preferences and to detect and prevent fraudulent activity. Users can block or delete cookies through their browsers or “ad-blocking” software or apps. The most common Internet browsers allow users to modify their browser settings to prevent cookies from being accepted by their browsers, or are set to block third-party cookies by default. Increased use of methods, software or apps that block cookies, or the disaffection of users resulting from our use of such marketing activities, may have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
Our brands are subject to reputational risks and impairment.
We have developed our trivago brand through extensive marketing campaigns, website promotions, customer referrals and the use of a dedicated sales force. We cannot guarantee that our brand will not be damaged by circumstances that are outside our control or by third parties, such as hackers, or interfaces with their clients, such as subcontractors’ employees or sales forces, with a resulting negative impact on our activities. For example, the independent actors we rely on in various countries where we advertise have come to represent our brand, such as “Mr. trivago” in the United States and “the trivago girl” in Australia. The actions of such actors are not in our control, and negative publicity about such actors could affect our brand image. Also, it is possible that the use of testimonials in the advertising and promotion of our brands could have a negative impact on customer retention and acquisition if the reputation of the testimonial provider is damaged. We may be subject to negative press accounts or other negative publicity regarding our product, brand or business practices, which may, among other things, cause us reputational harm. Such negative publicity may become more prevalent as a result of announced or future regulatory investigations or litigation relating to practices in our marketplace and related online travel-related market segments. Social media’s reach may magnify any negative publicity and messages can “go viral” necessitating effective crisis response in real time. A failure on our part to protect our image, reputation and the brand under which we market our products and services may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
Many events beyond our control may adversely affect the travel industry.
Many events beyond our control can adversely affect the travel industry, with a corresponding negative impact on our business and results of operations. Natural disasters, including hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, as well as other natural phenomena, such as outbreaks of the Zika virus, the Ebola virus, avian flu and other pandemics and epidemics, have disrupted normal travel patterns and levels in the past. The travel industry is also sensitive to events that may discourage travel, such as work stoppages or labor unrest, political instability, regional hostilities, increases in fuel prices, imposition of taxes or surcharges by regulatory authorities, travel related accidents and terrorist attacks or threats. We do not have insurance coverage against loss or business interruption resulting from war and terrorism. The occurrence of any of the foregoing events may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
Our global operations involve additional risks, and our exposure to these risks will increase as our business continues to expand.
We operate in a number of jurisdictions and intend to continue to expand our global presence, including in emerging markets. As of December 31, 2017, we derived 38% of our total referral revenue from our operations in the Americas, 42% of our revenue from our operations in Developed Europe and 20% of our revenue from our operations in the Rest of World. See “Item 5 Operating and financial review and prospects” for a further description of our geographical operating segments. We face complex, dynamic and varied risk landscapes in the jurisdictions in which we operate. As we enter countries and markets that are new to us, we must tailor our services and business models to the unique circumstances of such countries and markets, which can be complex, difficult, costly and divert management and personnel resources. In addition, we may face competition in other countries from companies that may have more experience with operations in such