RealTime IT News

USA Networks Buys TV Travel Group

By @NY Staff

USA Networks, Inc. , which is transforming itself into an e-commerce juggernaut under CEO Barry Diller, has snapped up U.K.-based cable network TV Travel Group for about US $100 million.

The acquisition brings the TV Travel Shop and its $240 million worth of annual transactions into the burgeoning home of USA Networks and its ambitions to sell travel and entertainment goods and services online or through the television.

The TV Travel Group acquisition includes three television channels, two in the U.K. and one in Germany. The channels sell travel products and packages and are considered pioneers in the concept of using television to sell travel products and services.

The company said the current management team, led by Stephen Welton, would remain in place and would take on oversight of USA's cable travel network when it launches in the United States.

USA already holds controlling interests in Expedia, Inc. and the Hotel Reservations Network , which it plans to leverage with the TV Travel Group acquisition.

USA Networks is in the process of spinning off assets from its entertainment group, including USA Network, the SCI FI Channel, Newsworld International and production and distribution units into a joint venture controlled by Vivendi Universal.

When the sale is complete, the New York-based USA Networks will be renamed USA Interactive.