Kayak buys out Sidestep

I was surprised to see that Kayak.com paid $200 million a few days ago to buy out Sidestep.com. That makes the company the 5th largest travel site (behind Expedia at #1).

I haven’t really used Sidestep, but I’ve been a fan of Kayak’s quotes and daily alerts. Both websites will stay intact and active, though each will upgrade in early 2008 with perks from the (formerly-competing) sites: Sidestep will get fare alerts, and Kayak will add customer reviews and an airport guide.

Steve Hafner, Kayak.com CEO and Co-Founder, is quoted on the search engine’s website:

“The commercial logic of this deal is obvious…Kayak.com is a technology company focused on perfecting travel search, and SideStep.com is a media company with in-house sales expertise and user-generated content. By merging, each brand can improve its offering while continuing to focus on its individual strengths.”

Stay tuned for what that means for you or me. Better capabilities? Decreased competition? The emergence of new search engines? It seems to mean quicker expansion internationally—Kayak.com will soon add Italy to its roster of international websites (UK, France, Germany, and Spain), with potential elsewhere in Europe and Asia. As for me, I’ll probably continue to try my hand at several search engines, though not both Kayak and Sidestep.

Posted by | Comments (1)  | December 26, 2007
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

One Response to “Kayak buys out Sidestep”

  1. ScooterLiddy Says:

    The trend is against aggregators like Expedia,Kayak, et al. I for one just used their sites to find out what airline is the cheapest then go to the airline’s web site to book my fare. It usually is slightly cheaper and you can get bonus mileage to boot.