Expedia Acquired Travelocity For $280 Million In Cash

Travel booking website

has acquired partner travel service Travelocity from Saber Corporation for $280 million in cash. Travelocity joins Expedia’s growing portfolio of travel websites with brands such as Expedia.com, Hotels.com,

, Hotwire, Trivago, CarRentals.com, Venere.com and Egencia. Since last year, Expedia has been feeding Travelocity’s US and Canadian websites, along with its hotel offerings and customer service programs.

Expedia will retain the Travelocity brand under the Expedia Group brand. “Travelocity is one of the most recognized travel brands in North America, serving thousands of travel destinations to more than 20 million travelers each month,” said Expedia President and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement.

Launched in 1996 as a unit of

Saber Holdings
, Travelocity was the first website that offered the possibility to book and buy airline tickets without a travel agency. Travelocity grew rapidly after partnering with

for its travel portal in 1999. Travelocity introduced the mascot “The Roaming Gnome” in 2004, which helped their brand awareness. Unfortunately, Travelocity’s growth rate and workforce has slowed in recent years
drastically reduced with thousands of employees.

Travelocity isn’t the only company to sell Saber recently. Last month, Saber sold Lastminute.com to Swiss online travel service Bravofly Rumbo Group for about $120 million. Saber has sold the two companies so they can focus on their back-end systems. The Saber Corporation back-end is used for the sale of airline tickets, car rentals and hotel rooms. Saber competes with other companies that provide back-end travel services, such as Travelport and Amadeus.

The online travel booking space is becoming more and more competitive. Expedia’s portfolio of companies competes directly with the Priceline Group, Orbitz Worldwide and several other travel startups. The Priceline Group owns Priceline.com, Booking.com, Kayak and OpenTable. Orbitz Worldwide owns Orbitz.com, CheapTickets.com, Trip.com, HotelClub.com, RatesToGo.com and ebookers.com. Some travel startups that have gained popularity in recent years include Hipmunk, Room 77, and HotelTonight. Even Google launched a flight search service in 2011.

Another big online travel asset could be announced soon. Bloomberg recently reported that Orbitz has hired bankers to find potential bidders. Orbitz has been reported to have received interest from several private equity funds and internet companies.

What do you think of Expedia’s buying out of Travelocity? Let us know in the comments below!


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