HomeAway Announces Expedia Deal

HomeAway and its other vacation rental sites will be acquired by Expedia. Expedia has been busy: the company recently bought Travelocity and Orbitz. HomeAway's portfolio includes VRBO and VacationRentals.com and 1.2 million vacation properties.


In HomeAway's press release, Expedia CEO expresses his enthusiasm: 

"We have tremendous respect for the HomeAway team and the business they have built. With our expertise in powering global transactional platforms and our industry-leading technology capabilities, we look forward to partnering with them to accelerate their shift from a classified marketplace to an online, transactional model to create even better experiences for HomeAway's global traveler audience and the owners and managers of its 1.2 million properties around the world." 

In an email to users, VRBO describes the deal and plans. As a VRBO user, I was taken aback by no mention of VRBO except for the logo at top. This looks like the same email HomeAway users received. Also, I did not appreciate the spin in this bullet: 

More travelers – We plan to introduce a new service fee for travelers who book through HomeAway websites, enabling us to spend more on marketing to bring even more travelers to your vacation rental listing and highlight the benefits of vacation rentals to traditional hotel shoppers.

Discussion Starters: 

  • Read VRBO's entire email. What are the key messages? What principles of business communication does this message follow? Do you see how the "More travelers" bullet is spun? 
  • Listen to the conference call announcing the deal. If you were an investor, how might you react to the news? What advice would you have for the Expedia team leading the call?