Skift Take

It's all about scale for Expedia. The company can use its expertise to add vacation rentals to heighten conversion, which in turn enables Expedia to spend more on marketing. That's good for vacation rentals and, in theory, for hotels as well as it should generate increased demand.

Expedia wasn’t content to finish the year with the trophies of former rivals Orbitz and Travelocity.

After the market closed today the increasingly giant online travel agency announced the acquisition of vacation rental giant HomeAway for $3.9 billion, increasing its acquisitions expenditures this year to north of $5.8 billion.

Along with its long-time rival Priceline Group and its former sister brand TripAdvisor, Expedia Inc. has been in a booking site arms race when it comes to acquisitions in the U.S. and abroad.

In their battle for online supremacy, Expedia and Priceline have opened their wallets and spent collectively more than $11.5 billion over the last two years.

The HomeAway purchase tops Priceline’s $2.6 billion acquisition of OpenTable in 2014 as the most valuable mergers and acquisitions deal in the booking market. Other hefty buys in travel technology include Oracle’s acquisition of hotel tech firm Micros for $5.3 billion and SAP’s Concur buy for $8.3 billion.

>> Related: First Interview: Expedia and HomeAway CEOs Talk Acquisition, Mistakes and Opportunities

Despite the flurry of activity in the booking sector, it may not be over any time soon.

“The overall travel category’s a trillion plus category,” Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Executive Officer, Expedia, Inc., told Skift shortly after the announcement. “The alternative lodging category is 100 billion plus, so I think there’s room here for multiple winners.”

“I do think that Expedia Inc as a company becomes a tough competitor,” Khosrowshahi said, “But and TripAdvisor have very strong road maps ahead of them, and I think that you’ve seen historically over the past five years, all three companies have been pretty successful. I don’t see that changing going forward.”

Below is a list of acquisitions in the online booking world since 2013. With the exception of Orbitz and HomeAway, companies are listed by the year in which the acquisition closed, not when it was announced.

Expedia Acquisitions

Company/Year Price Background
HomeAway $3.9 billion read story
Orbitz $1.6 billion read story
Travelocity $280 million read story
Wotif $658 million read story
Auto Escape $85 million read story
Trivago $632 million (62% stake) read story

Priceline Acquisitions

Company Price Background
RocketMiles $20 million read story
PriceMatch undisclosed read story
AS Digital undisclosed read story
OpenTable $2.6 billion read story
Buuteeq undisclosed read story
Hotel Ninjas undisclosed read story
Qlika $3 million read story
Kayak $1.8 billion read story

TripAdvisor Acquisitions

Company/Year Price Background
Viator $192 million read story
VacationHomeRentals undisclosed read story
Tripbod undisclosed read story
Lafourchette undisclosed read story
My Table undisclosed read story
Restopolis undisclosed read story
Iens $11 million read story
TinyPost undisclosed read story
Jetsetter undisclosed read story
CruiseWise undisclosed read story
Niumba undisclosed read story
GateGuru undisclosed read story
Oyster undisclosed read story

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Tags: expedia, homeway, orbitz, priceline, tripadvisor

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