Online travel competition just got a whole lot smaller (or bigger from Webjet’s perspective), as Expedia purchases Orbitz Worldwide for around AU$2 billion.
The announcement comes less than three months after Expedia completed its $703 million purchase of online flight and accommodation seller, Wotif.com.
Overnight’s plan to purchase Orbitz will add more brands to Expedia’s portfolio, including Orbitz.com plus CheapTickets, eBookers, HotelClub, and Sydney-based RatestoGo.
Expedia’s portfolio already includes Hotwire,com, Trivago, Hotels.com, Travelocity, trivago, Classic Vacations, CarRentals.com and more.
Still awaiting approval from Orbitz Worldwide’s shareholders, Expedia’s president Dara Khosrowshahi said through Orbitz the company can deliver ‘best in-class experiences’ to a wider set of travellers, USA Today reported.
“We are attracted to the Orbitz Worldwide business because of its strong brands and impressive team.”
Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia president
Payment for the company works out to be around $12 per share or around AU$2 billion.
Meanwhile, late last year, Expedia purchased Australian online travel seller, Wotif.com.
So far, the two companies remain separate sites, but Expedia said it was working closely with Wotif to evaluate a long-term strategy.
Details of talks have yet to be revealed, but could potentially see the two companies merge into one.
“Since announcing the acquisition, we have spent a considerable amount of time exploring options for how to best help the Wotif Group be positioned for future success.”
Expedia said in a statement
Australia competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) did not oppose the Wotif and Expedia purchase, saying it saw the benefit of the union.
KarryOn has contacted Expedia and is awaiting comment on the Orbitz merger and its effect on the industry.
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