Reuters is reporting that online travel service Expedia is buying Orbitz for $1.38 billion dollars. Reuters is speculating the purchase is in hopes to more aggressively take on competitor Priceline. Expedia not only owns Expedia.com but also Hotels.com and also just purchased Travelocity and the Wotif Group. Online travel services are a hot service often giving customers some really great travel price breaks.
“We are attracted to the Orbitz Worldwide business because of its strong brands and impressive team,” Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of Expedia, said in a statement.
The possibility of antitrust issues was played down by Expedia’s Chief Financial Office Mark Okerstrom who said, “It is a $1.3 trillion industry and is highly fragmented … We are only a small player and our overall share is in single digits.”
No word on if the Orbitz name will remain or the company will just be absorbed into Expedia. There are still a handful of other online travel services out there but this purchase brings Expedia up another notch and right up there with Priceline. What do you think of Expedia’s big purchase? Did you use Orbitz? Do you use online travel services or do you still book through the airlines and hotels themselves? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.