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Expedia acquires Orbitz in $1.3B deal

BELLEVUE, Wash. - Expedia (EXPE) is buying rival online travel site Orbitz (OWW) for approximately $1.33 billion. The deal comes less than a month after Expedia announced the $280 million acquisition of another rival, Travelocity.

Orbitz owns CheapTickets and HotelClub. Expedia owns and Hotwire.

Expedia, based in Bellevue, Washington, will pay $12 per share, a 25 percent premium to the Orbitz' closing price of $9.62 Wednesday.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal, but it still requires a nod from Orbitz shareholders.

Shares of Orbitz, based in Chicago, are up more than 20 percent in premarket trading, and Expedia is up 10 percent.

Orbitz had said in January that it was considering selling itself.

The other big travel booking company is the Priceline Group (PCLN), which owns sites like Priceline,, Kayak and OpenTable. Priceline's stock rose 1.8 percent to $1,078.89 in premarket trading.

While those companies dominate the travel market -- and are taking advantage of quickly growing markets in developing countries -- they're facing new pressures at home from more-innovative sites like airfare search Hipmunk and last-minute deal site HotelTonight.