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TripAdvisor set for Expedia split

The world's largest online travel company Expedia has unveiled plans to spin off its TripAdvisor brand.

Expedia said it hoped to split into two public companies - Expedia and TripAdvisor - by the third quarter of 2011.

TripAdvisor will include 18 popular brands in addition to its flagship site, such as Booking Buddy, while Expedia, which was set up by Microsoft in 1996 before being spun off itself, will continue to hold brands such as Expedia.com and Hotels.com.

TripAdvisor allows travellers to post reviews and attracts more than 40 million visitors a month across 29 countries.

Expedia, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, employs 8,900 staff worldwide and includes brands such as Chinese subsidiary eLong and Cruise Ship Centers.

TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site and was set up in 2000 before becoming part of Expedia in 2005.

TripAdvisor now owns a range of travel sites including Airfare Watchdog, Cruise Critic and Holiday Lettings.

The separation is expected to take the form of a spin-off of TripAdvisor stock to Expedia shareholders or a reclassification of Expedia stock with holders receiving a proportionate amount of TripAdvisor stock.

Expedia reported revenues of $3.3bn (€2.3bn) in 2010, a 13pc increase on 2009. Within this, TripAdvisor saw revenues increase 38pc to $486m (€337m).

PA Media