Expedia snaps up rival Orbitz for $1.6bn

US online travel agency Expedia has inked a deal to acquire rival Orbitz Worldwide for $1.6bn.

As part of the deal, Expedia will bring in programmers, designers and marketers from Orbitz as part of efforts to broaden its global consumer base.

Expedia president and chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi said: "We are attracted to the Orbitz Worldwide business because of its strong brands and impressive team."

"This acquisition will allow us to deliver best-in-class experiences to an even wider set of travellers all over the world.

"From the flagship Orbitz.com brand, to other well-known consumer brands such as CheapTickets, ebookers and HotelClub and the business-to-business brands Orbitz Partner Network and Orbitz for Business, the Orbitz Worldwide team has built a devoted customer base and we look forward to welcoming them to the Expedia, Inc. family."

Several media reports revealed that Orbitz had been seeking a sale and had drawn interest from several firms.

Orbitz chief executive officer Barney Harford said: "Our mission at Orbitz Worldwide has been to build our brands to be the world’s most rewarding places to plan and purchase travel."

"We’re excited for Orbitz Worldwide to join the Expedia, Inc. family and for our teams to work together to further enhance the offerings we provide to our customers and partners."

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