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Now It’s Expedia Vs. Priceline As Orbitz Swallowed For $1.6 Billion
After buying Travelocity last month, Expedia grabs Orbitz in competitive bidding.
The online travel market is consolidating further. Last month Expedia bought partner-rival Travelocity for $280 million. This morning news came out that it was buying Orbitz (and associated brands) for $1.6 billion.
It was widely known that Orbitz had been exploring a sale to private equity or another party. So the news is not a surprise.
It’s not clear whether there will be any sort of antitrust review in the wake of this announcement. But there will now effectively be two major companies controlling online travel in the US and much of the rest of the world: Expedia and Priceline, which owns Kayak among other travel brands.
TripAdvisor and Travel Zoo remain independent public companies. Travel news site Skift asserts that “Expedia was not the only bidder for Orbitz,” but did not identify who other bidders might have been.
Google’s position in online travel now looks quite different than it did when it acquired ITA software in 2010. It was then feared that Google would grow to dominate online travel. However that hasn’t happened.
Google now emerges as a potentially important competitive counterweight to the two travel giants.