As Sabre's OTA continued to slip, an acquisition of Travelocity – and, for that matter, Orbitz – became fodder for plenty of speculation. The obvious acquirer would be Expedia, but the question is, why buy? Too reliant on low-margin air and the low-growth domestic market, the number two and three OTAs in the U.S. have long been in catch-up mode. Public markets reward margin and growth, and Travelocity would have added neither to Expedia's quarterly filings. So why buy them when you can beat them? Sabre was under pressure to do something. Signs of financial challenges surfaced in 1Q12, and the deal no doubt eases some stress on the Sabre balance sheet, improving its prospects for an IPO reportedly in the works. Still, this move is not without irony, given that the core business of Travelocity's parent is, in fact, travel transactions and technology. Get the full story at PhoCusWright Read also "Travelocity to outsource core of its business to Expedia", and "How the travel booking giants stack up and where they are heading" at Skift