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Expedia owner snaps up discount travel site

InterActiveCorp, the owner of travel website Expedia.com, has agreed to buy discount travel site Hotwire.com for $665m in cash...

InterActiveCorp, the owner of travel website Expedia.com, has agreed to buy discount travel site Hotwire.com for $665m in cash and around $20m in options and warrants.

Hotwire will become part of a new travel division that also includes Expedia.com, Expedia Corporate Travel, Hotels.com, Travelnow.com and other businesses and brands.

Hotwire was launched three years ago by investment firm Texas Pacific Group and six major US airlines as a competitor to Priceline.com.

Both sites offer bargain travel and do not show the supplier's name until after booking. On Priceline a shopper has to place a bid, while Hotwire shows a price.

InterActiveCorp, headed by media veteran Barry Diller, completed its acquisition of Expedia.com last month. Other InterActiveCorp web properties include dating site Match.com, finance site LendingTree and Citysearch.

The Hotwire acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals and should close later this year.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Services

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