Expedia buys booking site Travelocity for $280 million

SHARE Expedia buys booking site Travelocity for $280 million
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NEW YORK — Expedia has acquired travel booking site Travelocity from the Sabre Corp. for $280 million in cash.

The deal adds to Expedia’s growing portfolio of websites. The Bellevue, Washington-company already owns nearly a dozen travel sites including Hotels.com, Hotwire and Egencia, the world’s fifth-largest corporate travel management company.

Consumers shouldn’t notice any change because of a deal already in place. Since 2013, Expedia Inc. has been powering Travelocity’s U.S. and Canadian websites and providing Travelocity access to Expedia hotel supply and customer service program.

The move allows Sabre to focus more on its back-end system for selling airline tickets, hotel rooms and car rentals. Sabre is one of three global distribution system companies — along with Travelport and Amadeus — that handle sales for travel agencies and online booking sites like Expedia.

“Travelocity is one of the most recognized travel brands in North America, offering thousands of travel destinations to more than 20 million travelers per month,” Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia, Inc. said in a statement.

Expedia’s shares rose $1.62, or 1.9 percent, to $87.33 in midday trading Friday.

Chicago-based competitor Orbitz Worldwide Inc. saw its stock price spike earlier this week on reports it is considering selling itself. Its shares rose 5 cents to $10.03 by midday Friday.

The other big travel booking is the Priceline Group, which owns sites such as Priceline, Booking.com, Kayak and OpenTable.

While those companies dominate the travel market — and are taking advantage of quickly-growing markets in developing countries — they are facing new pressures at home from more-innovative sites like airfare search Hipmunk and last-minute deal site HotelTonight.

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