The deal speaks to ongoing consolidation in the market, but also Expedia’s bigger competitive threat in the form of Priceline, which owns Kayak and other large travel properties, and the fact that perhaps Orbitz saw the consolidation writing on the wall itself. Expedia says that the boards of both publicly-traded companies have approved the deal, which will now be put to Orbitz shareholders for approval. Expedia will be buying both Orbitz’s portal plus a lot of other brands that it owns. “We are attracted to the Orbitz Worldwide business because of its strong brands and impressive team. This acquisition will allow us to deliver best-in-class experiences to an even wider set of travelers all over the world,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, president and CEO, Expedia, Inc., in a statement. “From the flagship Orbitz.com brand, to other well-known consumer brands such as CheapTickets, ebookers and HotelClub and the business-to-business brands Orbitz Partner Network and Orbitz for Business, the Orbitz Worldwide team has built a devoted customer base and we look forward to welcoming them to the Expedia, Inc. family.” Get the full story at TechCrunch