Bizwatch

Betting on Consolidation
After e-commerce boom and bust comes merger mania: that was the sense last week as online travel firm lastminute.com — the money-losing, London-based icon of the Internet frenzy — agreed to a $1.1 billion takeover by Texas-based Sabre Holdings, owner of rival Travelocity.

The grounds? While there's room for growth in Europe 's Web-based travel sector — as little as 10% of trips are currently booked online in the region — there's no longer room for everyone. Price pressure from major hotels' and airlines' own online operations means Web-based operators "need to...

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