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by CareyBot

Real estate heavyweight Cendant Corp. confirmed today that it will purchase online travel site Orbitz for $1.25 billion in cash, or about $27.50 per share. The acquisition of Orbitz places Cendant among leading domestic online travel businesses. Orbitz was founded by the top five air carriers: American, United, Delta, Northwest and Continental, and each still holds a stake in the online travel company. Its largest competitor, Expedia.com, is owned by InterActiveCorp, which also owns LendingTree, RealEstate.com and ServiceMagic, among other business channels. Orbitz.com, which launched in June 2001, enables travelers to search for airline tickets from more than 455 airlines, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Orbitz is debt-free and, as of June 30, had approximately $2...