Expedia acquires HomeAway for $3.9 billion
Few industries have been more transformed by technology than travel. Gone are the days when travel agents in physical offices meet with customers to arrange business and leisure trips. All the details, from booking flights to finding a place to crash, can now be worked out online by the consumer. In addition to driving prices down through cost comparison tools and online discounts, lodging, booking and itinerary systems have made taking a trip less cumbersome.
This week, popular booking site Expedia announced that it will acquire HomeAway, the publicly traded vacation rental service, for $3.9 billion. HomeAway is often described as a competitor to Airbnb and other discount lodging sites with listings by homeowners. However, several other companies and sites fall under the HomeAway umbrella.
"HomeAway says it currently features more than a million paid vacation rental home listings in 190 countries on its site," reports Frederic Lardinois of TechCrunch. "The company also owns a portfolio of other rental sites, including VRBO.com and VacationRental.com in the U.S., as well as similar sites in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. It also operates BedandBreakfast.com."
Both companies occupy a marketplace with prominent rivals, so the solution to move forward with combined powers makes good business sense. The boom of success for Airbnb, for instance, is much younger than other giants in the booking space. There's no telling what future startups will rival the dominance of firms like Expedia in the coming years. Despite the multi-billion dollar price tag, buying entities like HomeAway can reinforce Expedia's footprint for long-term success.
The HomeAway team also remarked that this deal will benefit next steps in their chain of growth. This exposes the company to a wealth of new resources for research, development and improvements to service offerings.
"We're eager to benefit from Expedia's distribution, technology and expertise, which will allow us to provide an even better product and service experience for our owners, property managers and travelers. In this way, I believe our combination with Expedia will turbocharge our growth and industry leadership for many years to come," said Brian Sharples, CEO of HomeAway, in a joint press release.
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