Worldspan, which employs about 1,700 people, worked with Microsoft Corp. in the mid-1990s to develop the travel site Expedia, for which, until recently, it was the sole processor of travel information.

For the yearlong period that ended Sept. 30, Worldspan says it was the leader in processing Internet airline bookings, handling 56 percent worldwide. But the company also reported recently that its third-quarter revenue declined to $212.5 million, down 11 percent from the same period last year.

Executives blamed much of the decline on Expedia following through on a 2004 decision to use Sabre Holdings Corp. as a second reservation processor. Sabre owns the Travelocity Web site and is ranked No. 1 among the four operators of global distribution systems, or GDS.

The shift to multiple reservations systems reflects a maturing of the Internet travel industry, with Web sites moving toward the approach of traditional agencies such as American Express. In 2004, Expedia executives said the site's rapid growth drove the need to diversify.

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