By Expedia Guest Author, on October 16, 2002 Expedia, Inc. to Acquire Newtrade Technologies Inc.

BELLEVUE, Wash. (October 15, 2002) Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Newtrade Technologies Inc., a Montreal-based developer of software and information distribution services that help hotels deliver their rates and availability to the market more efficiently. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Newtrade is recognized by the OpenTravel- Alliance (OTA) as a leader in the development of open-standard technology that enables connectivity between hotel reservation systems and electronic distribution channels. As part of Expedia, Newtrade will provide this new technology to Expedia's merchant hotel partners to improve their quality of connectivity and give hotels unprecedented flexibility and control over their information distribution and inventory management. Today, the primarily fax- and phone-based processes by which hotels provide inventory information to their electronic distribution partners are complex and can be extremely inefficient. Newtrade's technology will automate many processes and ensure a single-source connection through which hotels can reach multiple points of distribution, including the major GDSs and partners like Expedia, making it easier for hotels to change their rates and availability as the market dictates.

“Expedia is investing in Newtrade to deepen our relationships with hotels by helping them solve one of their most difficult and expensive problems – electronic distribution of their room offerings to the market,” said Erik Blachford, president, Expedia-North America. “Just as Expedia's Expert Searching & Pricing (ESP) technology revolutionized the way consumers shop for and buy travel, Newtrade's technology will advance the way hotels distribute room information such as rates and availability, breaking down the technology barriers that may prevent hotels from having access to multiple sales channels. This is an example of Expedia's ongoing commitment to provide our hotel partners with the flexibility and technology innovation they need to increase their revenue.”

According to PhoCusWright's Online Travel Market Update 2001-20051, online hotel reservations in the U.S. are expected to grow 114 percent to $9 billion by 2003 over 2001. Despite this growth, a large portion of hoteliers do not have the technology needed to distribute their inventory online, highlighting the critical need for increased connectivity and real-time processing.

Newtrade has developed and implemented XML interfaces that conform to OTA specifications, ensuring seamless connectivity between hotel legacy systems and the multiple points of distribution. Using Web services, their solutions connect to a travel supplier's inventory management system, provide yield and rate management capabilities and handle software, hardware and networking issues to lower infrastructure and operating costs.

“Newtrade's technology solutions and industry relationships, combined with Expedia's partnerships with over 6,000 erchant hotels worldwide, will significantly accelerate the deployment of connectivity in the hospitality industry,” stated Benoit Jolin, President and CEO, Newtrade Technologies Inc.

Expedia plans to deploy Newtrade's solutions for its merchant hotel partners in early 2003. Newtrade employs approximately 60 employees and will continue to operate in Montreal. Benoit Jolin, President and CEO; Frederic Lalonde, EVP and Chief Technology Officer; and Barry Gleason, VP Business Development, will continue in their current positions. The deal is expected to close in October.

About Newtrade Technologies Inc.
Newtrade Technologies Inc., the travel commerce machinery company, was launched in 1997 by Benoit Jolin and Frederic Lalonde to provide software development, integration and consulting services to the travel industry. In October 2000, Newtrade completed a $3 million round of financing with two Canadian venture capital firms, Innovatech du Grand Montréal and Investissement Desjardins. One year later, Newtrade completed its second round of $4 million Cdn financing, led once again by the same venture capital firm. For more information on Newtrade and its solutions, visit
About Expedia Inc.
Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) is the world's leading online travel service and the eighth largest travel agency in the U.S. It provides leisure services in the United States, Europe and Canada, and corporate travel services in the U.S. Expedia, a majority-owned subsidiary of USA Interactive (NASDAQ: USAI), also operates Classic Custom Vacations, Inc., a leading wholesaler of premiere vacation packages, and through its wholly owned subsidiary, Travelscape, Inc., operates WWTE-, a private-label online travel business that supplies travel inventory to third parties.

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