Expedia buys Travelocity for $370 million

NEW YORK (AFP) - Expedia said Friday it is buying rival Travelocity in a US$280 million (S$376 million) deal merging two of the largest online travel operators.

The all-cash deal calls for Expedia to acquire its rival from travel software firm Sabre and follows a 2013 agreement in which Expedia powered the tech platform for Travelocity's US and Canadian websites.

"Travelocity is one of the most recognised travel brands in North America, offering thousands of travel destinations to more than 20 million travellers per month," said Expedia president and chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi.

"The strategic marketing agreement we've had in place has been a marriage of Travelocity's strong brand with our best-in-class booking platform, supply base, and customer service," he said.

"Evolving this relationship strengthens the Expedia family's ability to continue to innovate and deliver the very best travel experiences to the widest set of travelers, all over the world," Khosrowshahi added.

The move comes amid increased competition in the travel sector from websites such as Priceline-owned Kayak and others which scan the Internet for the best deals.

Expedia operators other travel sites including Hotels.com and Carrentals.com.

Sabre, which manages online reservations for airlines and hotels, last year decided to focus on software and services, and sold another travel website lastminute.com.

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