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Expedia to acquire HomeAway for $3.9B

Austin, Texas-based vacation home rental service HomeAway today announced that it will sell to travel company Expedia in a deal worth $3.9 billion in cash and stock.

HomeAway makes it easy for people to rent out their homes to folks that would otherwise be forced to book their stay at hotel rooms. It’s business also grew to include rental management services via VRBO and vacation rental search. The company indirectly competes with the likes of Airbnb and a slew of others across the globe.

Both of the company’s boards of directors have approved the purchase, which is still subject to regulatory approval that’s expected to happen in Q1 of 2016. As terms of the deal, Expedia is offering $38.31 per share and offer to buy outstanding shares of common stock for $10.15 + 0.0265 Expedia shares.

“With our expertise in powering global transactional platforms and our industry-leading technology capabilities, we look forward to partnering with them to accelerate their shift from a classified marketplace to an online, transactional model to create even better experiences for HomeAway’s global traveler audience and the owners and managers of its 1.2 million properties around the world,” said Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a press release.

Obviously the move makes lots of sense, considering that Expedia is primarily focused on providing a portal (well, several) for people to book all their travel plans. Properties available through HomeAway will likely benefit from the added visibility. For Expedia, the move almost certainly has to do with Airbnb creeping up as a potential competitor in travel booking services, having just recently launched Airbnb Journey.