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Orbitz puts Away Network on the block as cost-cutting continues

@denschaal

Feb 15, 2013 1:36 pm

Skift Take

Orbitz had a grand vision that the Away network would add rich, inspirational content in multiple sectors that could drive transactions. That didn’t happen.

— Dennis Schaal

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Fresh after completing a round of layoffs, Orbitz announced it is seeking to offload its Away Network in a move designed to cut additional expenses.

Orbitz Worldwide revealed it is looking into “strategic alternatives” for all or part of the Away Network, including Away.com, Trip.com, AdventureFinder.com, Gorp.com, and Lodging.com.

Orbitz Worldwide had big plans for the Away Network and several years ago thought it could build it up to rival TripAdvisor and its holdings.

But Orbitz’s failure to make inroads with the Away Network is evident in its statement today  that the Away Network is not material to the parent company’s financials and selling it wouldn’t impact 2013 guidance.

An Orbitz Worldwide predecessor company, Cendant acquired Away.com and AsiaHotels for $11 million in cash in 2005.

“As we assess the prioritization of investments in different areas of our business, in particular in the context of the encouraging trends that we’re seeing in hotel, we’ve made the determination that the elements of the Away Network, either collectively or individually, are likely to be more valuable to other parties,” said Sam Fulton, senior vice president of product strategy at Orbitz Worldwide.

Fulton runs the Away Network business at Orbitz.

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