Today, Tuesday, December 15, Expedia Inc.’s acquisition of HomeAway for $3.9 billion is finalized.

This acquisition, which was announced in November, will give Expedia control over all of HomeAway’s brands, including HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com and BedandBreakfast.com.

Dara Khosrowshahi, said in a press release that “bringing HomeAway into the Expedia family and adding its leading brands to our portfolio of the most trusted brands in travel is a logical next step.”

According to Expedia, Inc.’s website, their mission is to “revolutionize travel through the power of technology,” with a desire to “own and power the best travel brands in the world.”

Their acquisition of HomeAway, which is one of the largest vacation rental sites to date, is a major step towards achieving this strategic approach.

According to TravelWeekly.com,

“Brian Sharples, CEO of HomeAway, called Expedia’s technology and knowledge of online travel “critical to our success” as the company works to make all of its properties bookable online.”

One of HomeAway’s most recent competitors has been the rising leader in online vacation rentals, Airbnb. This will put Expedia in the market against them, as they were proposed to begin listing 115,000 HomeAway Vacation rental properties in September.

USA Today said, “While Airbnb typically offers short-term rentals and HomeAway often targets travelers looking for one-week or longer stays, buying HomeAway instantly allows Expedia to expand its options for consumers beyond hotels.”

With this deal finalized today, I expect to see a large shift in the growth of online travel bookings, with the shift being in Expedia, Inc.’s favor.