Expedia to pay $3.9 billion for Airbnb competitor HomeAway

Expedia Dancers at State of Illinois Building

The short-term rental market is growing, and Expedia understandably wants a piece of it. After snapping up Orbitz and Travelocity earlier this year, it has now decided to purchase HomeAway. It's an online service that focuses on renting out vacation homes, further intensifying Expedia's rivalry with Airbnb. The travel empire has been displaying HA properties alongside hotels for a couple of years, but it will now completely own the company and all its brands. In its press release, Expedia admits that it has agreed to pay a hefty $3.9 billion for HomeAway, because it has "long had [its] eyes on the fast growing ~$100 billion alternative accommodations space." Both companies are expecting to close the deal in 2016, and if they obtain regulatory approval, Expedia will pay in cash and stock worth $38.31 per share.

[Image credit: danxoneil/Flickr]