Expedia To Buy Vacation Rental Site HomeAway For $3.9B

Just two months after Expedia completed its last big purchase, the travel-booking enterprise has hit the market again, offering $3.9 billion to buy vacation rental company HomeAway. 

Expedia announced Wednesday that it would jump into the vacation rental arena by acquiring Airbnb competitor HomeAway.

“We have long had our eyes on the fast growing ~$100 billion alternative accommodations space and have been building on our partnership with HomeAway, a global leader in vacation rentals, for two years,” Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Executive Officer for Expedia, said in a statement. “Bringing HomeAway into the Expedia family and adding its leading brands to our portfolio of the most trusted brands in travel is a logical next step.“

Under the new venture, which is contingent on regulatory approval, HomeAway would largely run independently out of its current home base of Austin, TX.

As part of the deal, the New York Times reports that HomeAway will revamp its business model, charging travelers a fee based on a sliding scale.

While the company didn’t disclose the details of the changes during a call, executives with the company say it adds an average of 6% to most rentals.

Additionally, the company says it plans to lower the commission rates for owners listing their rentals, which was previously the its biggest revenue generator.

Expedia says it expects the $3.9 billion acquisition to close during the first quarter of 2016.

[via The New York Times]

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