|TRIVAGO N.V. filed this Form 20-F on 03/06/2018|
We experience seasonal fluctuations in the demand for our services as a result of seasonal patterns in travel. For example, hotel searches and consequently our revenue are generally the highest in the first three quarters as travelers plan and book their spring, summer and winter holiday travel. Our revenue typically decreases in the fourth quarter. We generally expect to experience higher return on advertising spend in the first and fourth quarter of the year as we typically expect to advertise less in the periods outside of high travel seasons, although the expected increase in return on advertising spend was less pronounced in the fourth quarter of 2017. Seasonal fluctuations affecting our revenue also affect the timing of our cash flows. We typically invoice once per month, with customary payment terms. Therefore, our cash flow varies seasonally with a slight delay to our revenue, and is significantly affected by the timing of our advertising spending. The continued growth of our offerings in countries and areas where seasonal travel patterns vary from those described above may influence the typical trend of our seasonal patterns in the future.
Our intellectual property, including trademarks, is an important component of our business. We rely on confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions with suppliers to protect our proprietary technology and our brands. In addition, we enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and consultants.
We have registered domain names for websites that we use in our business, such as www.trivago.com, www.trivago.de and www.trivago.co.uk. Our registered trademarks include: trivago, Room5, Youzhan and our trivago logo. These trademarks are registered in various jurisdictions.
trivago provides data and information to its users and advertisers and conducts consumer facing marketing activities that are subject to consumer protection laws in jurisdictions in which we operate, regulating unfair and deceptive practices. For example, the United States and European Union (including at Member State level) - but also many other jurisdictions - are increasingly regulating commercial and other activities on the Internet, including the use of information retrieved from or transmitted over the Internet, the display, moderation and use of user-generated content, and are adopting new rules aimed at ensuring user privacy and information security as well as increasingly regulating online marketing, advertising and promotional activities and communications, including rules regarding disclosures in relation to the role of algorithms and price display messages in the display practices of platforms.
There are also new or additional rules regarding the taxation of Internet products and services, the quality of products and services as well as the liability for third-party activities. Moreover, the applicability to the Internet of existing laws governing issues such as intellectual property ownership and infringement is uncertain and evolving.
In particular, we are subject to an evolving set of data privacy laws. As of May 25, 2018, a new EU data protection regime (EU’s General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 or GDPR) will become applicable that provides for a number of changes to the existing EU data protection regime. The GDPR applies to any company established in the EU as well as to those outside the EU if they collect and use personal data in connection with the offering of goods or services to individuals in the EU or the monitoring of their behavior (for example, trip booking services). The GDPR enhances data protection obligations for processors and controllers of personal data, including, for example, expanded disclosures about how personal information is to be used, limitations on retention of information, mandatory data breach notification requirements and onerous new obligations on services providers. Non-compliance with the GDPR can trigger steep fines of up to €20 million or 4% of total worldwide annual turnover, whichever is higher. We may incur substantial expense in complying with the new obligations to be imposed by the GDPR and we may be required to make significant changes in our business operations and product and services development, all of which may adversely affect our revenues and our business overall.