Expedia calls a halt on acquisition trail

Expedia has put the brakes on any new acquisitions as it looks to expand organically by growing its businesses in new markets.

The online travel agency giant is expected to concentrate on extending its existing brands in Asia and other new territories as well as developing the growing media elements of the business.

Chief executive and president Dara Khosrowshahi said the company’s core brands, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Hotels.com and business travel unit Egencia, would spearhead growth in the “immediate future” rather than snapping up other online businesses.

The last major acquisition for the company was European online retailer Venere.com.

Khosrowshahi said global expansion would continue alongside shifting the company from a “pure transaction to transaction-media model”, although he admitted that building businesses in Asia is more difficult than in other territories.

“Global networks works because its get better for everyone [in the portfolio] each time we open a new site,” he said.

Commenting on the company’s shift to a combined transaction-media model at last week’s PhoCusWright conference in Los Angeles, Khosrowshahi said: “Every single travel player out there is using media and this will only increase in these troubled economic times.”

“Part of why we went into the media space is because we wanted to provide more channels for our users.”

Expedia is set to develop its TravelAds programme of advertising opportunities across the core sites which traditionally attracted most revenue from the transaction and merchant business models.

Khosrowshahi said: “We can track the success of this advertising. It is much more targeted than Google because the consumer already looking for a hotel.”

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