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US: Expedia just bought an Airbnb competitor for $3.9 billion

 |  November 5, 2015

Travel booking site Expedia says it is buying short-term rental marketplace HomeAway for $3.9 billion to boost its presence in the vacation rental market.

The Bellevue, Washington, company said Wednesday it is paying roughly $38.31 in cash and stock for each share of HomeAway, of Austin, Texas. Both companies’ boards have approved the deal, which they expect to close next year.

HomeAway Inc. says it has more than 1 million paid listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries. Along with its namesake site, Expedia Inc.’s portfolio also includes Hotels.com, Orbitz and Travelocity.

In September, US antitrust officials said they will not block the merger of online travel booking giant Expedia and Orbitz, adding it won’t hurt competition in the sector.

Expedia announced plans in February to buy Orbitz for about $1.6 billion. Last month, a consumer group and hotel industry association objected to the merger, saying the deal would lead to a powerful duopoly with 75 percent of the online travel agent market.

Full content: The Verge

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