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Brands you thought were rivals – but are owned by the same company

Have you ever heard the phrase “You are your own worst enemy?” In the case of the following companies, it’s true — sort of. Self-competition, as it’s called, is common with larger companies through acquisitions. While it may seem counterintuitive to what the company wants to do, when a larger company acquires another, it wants to keep the most profitable parts of the acquisition, even if it’s a competitor. Here are several “rival” brands that are actually owned by the same company.

Hyundai & Kia

Hyundai dealership showing new cars and company logos on a clear afternoon
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In 1997, hard times fell on the Kia Motor Corporation, and they had to declare bankruptcy. To help save them, Hyundai, another South Korean auto manufacturer, bought 51% of Kia. Ford originally wanted to make the deal, but Hyundai outbid them. The two car manufacturers are intense rivals that hit the exact same market demographic.

Expedia, Orbitz, Trivago, Hotwire, & Travelocity

Expedia Group building with white signage and trees, Bellevue, Washington
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When you want to book a hotel or flight, you have to make sure to check around to all the different sites to get the best deal, right? Well, it turns out that they’re all owned by the same company. The Expedia Group has worked hard to make itself the leading online authority on everything travel by owning brands like:

Gain, Tide, Downy, Bounce, & Cheer

Street view of large Procter and Gamble headquarters building in Cincinnati, Ohio
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If there’s a company that competes against itself the most, it has to be Procter & Gamble (P&G). In the laundry world, it owns all of the top detergent brands including Gain, Tide, Downy, Bounce, and Cheer. But that’s definitely not where its self-rivalries end.

In the baby care industry, P&G owns both Luvs and Pampers. For hair care they own Head & Shoulders, Aussie, Pantene, and Herbal Essences brands. Cleaning your home? P&G has you covered with brands like Cascade and Dawn for dishes, and Febreze, Mr. Clean, Swiffer, and Gain for making your house smell nice. The list goes on and on.

Budweiser, Michelob, & Rolling Rock

Anheuser-Busch brewery building with sign and clydesdale logo, St. Louis, Missouri
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There’s no bigger name in the beer world than Anheuser-Busch. Everyone knows that it owns Budweiser, which were ceremoniously carried by Clydesdales during the Super Bowl, but did you know that it owns about a dozen other beer brands as well?

Anheuser-Busch owns not only Budweiser (and Bud Light) but also competing brands like:

  • Michelob
  • Stella Artois
  • Busch
  • Natural Light
  • Landshark
  • Shock Top

With the craft beer boom in America, Anheuser-Busch has also started several craft breweries like Goose Island and Elysian, along with a spiked seltzer company called Bon & Viv.

Good Humor, Breyer’s, Klondike, Magnum, & Ben & Jerry’s

Unilever building with bright glass windows, logo and sign on display in Toronto, Canada
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Similar to Procter & Gamble, Unilever is another massive company that owns many of the most popular brands in the world. For ice cream lovers, competing brands like Good Humor, Popsicle, Breyer’s, Klondike, Magnum, and Ben & Jerry’s all fall under the Unilever umbrella. In the body-care industry, they also own Suave, Dove, TRESemme, and Axe.

Facebook & Instagram

Stack of papers with rainbow Instagram logo underneath white smart phone
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Do you prefer Facebook or Instagram for your social media fixes? Either way, they’re both owned by the same company. In 2012, Facebook dished out $1 billion to acquire their then-largest competitor, Instagram. Today, both sites still exist separately to have a broader appeal to all demographics.

Just two years after the purchase of Instagram, Facebook acquired another social media platform, WhatsApp, for $19 billion.

Adidas & Reebok

Aerial view of Adidas flagship store and fancy architecture, Guangzhou, China
Credit: kit lau / Shutterstock

In the early 2000s, Reebok had established itself as an authority on athletic apparel. In an effort to increase their market share in the United States, adidas acquired Reebok to challenge the industry giant Nike.

okcupid, Tinder, & Match.com

Night view of large IAC building architecture, lit from the inside with busy urban nightlife
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Looking for love online? It turns out that most online dating sites are really owned by the same company. Over the years, website company IAC has built up quite the portfolio of online companies, specifically, competing dating sites like:

  • Match.com
  • okcupid
  • OurTime.com
  • Plenty Of Fish
  • Tinder

They also own several other popular websites like Vimeo, TripSavvy, HomeAdvisor, CollegeHumor, Ask, and Angie’s List.

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