IAC/InterActiveCorp, which runs such travel Web sites as Expedia and Hotels.com, will enter the expanding Chinese market by acquiring a 30% interest in eLong Inc., a Beijing-based travel Web site company, for $60 million.
IAC, headed by chief executive Barry Diller, said Monday it would also acquire warrants that could increase the company's ownership of eLong to 51%. Through two Web sites–one in English, the other in Chinese–and a telephone call center, eLong offers more than 2,000 hotel rooms at discounted rates across China. The company, formed in 1999, also offers airline ticketing and other travel-related services.
IAC said eLong would continue to operate independently and retain its current management and employees.