TripAdvisor acquires the publisher of Cruise Critic

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TripAdvisor, which has been on an acquisition tear in recent months, acquired Independent Traveler, the publisher of Cruise Critic.

For TripAdvisor, a unit of Expedia Inc., the purchase of Independent Traveler is its fifth acquisition of a travel media company in the last nine months.

Previous acquisitions included Travel Library (September 2006), TravelPod (December 2006), Smarter Travel Media (February 2007) and SeatGuru (March 2007).

Expedia Inc. didn't disclose the purchase prices of any of the acquisitions but did note recently that it bought one travel media company in the first quarter of this year for $41.1 million and a 50% ownership in another on March 30 for $26 million in cash.

Brian Payea, a TripAdvisor spokesman, said the purchase of Cruise Critic would enable Trip-Advisor to expand its content and advertising in the cruise segment.

"We've had limited information on cruises up until now," Payea said.

He said TripAdvisor was not ready to discuss any plans regarding integrating the content.

"There are no near-term plans for extensive integration of the business or the Web domains, and no staffing changes are expected," TripAdvisor said in a statement.

Kathleen Tucker will continue to head Independent Traveler.

Founded in 1990, Independent Traveler operates a string of travel-information Web sites and is headquartered in Pennington, N.J. The Cruise Critic Web site offers cruise news, reviews and advertising.

To contact reporter Dennis Schaal, send e-mail to [email protected]

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