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If you’ve ever booked an airline seat, chances are it happened through Amadeus. Now it wants to be the global leader for hotel IT too.

Amadeus announced today that it acquired Newmarket International for the hefty price tag of $500 million to accelerate its move into the hotel sector.

Amadeus is a large, global provider of technology solutions for the tourism and travel industry. It powers reservations, bookings, and sales for airlines, hotels, car rentals, railways, cruises, and so on, processing a grand total of 948 million billable travel transactions a year. 

The corporation works with 711 airlines and powers over 260 airline websites and claims its system processes 95 percent of the world’s scheduled airline seats.

Now that it has the airline industry nicely tied up, Amadeus is making a big push to expand its hotel offerings. And so it decided to acquire Newmarket.

Newmarket provides a range of services to hospitality businesses including a CRM system, event management tools, and a suite of solutions for catering departments. With this acquisition, Amadeus hopes to strengthen its hotel tech as well as take on Newmarket’s customers.

The travel sector is loaded with consumer-facing flight and hotel services like Kayak, Expedia, Hipmunk, HotelTonight (and its clones), Nara, and Getgoing, but the enterprise side of the industry seems to be seeing considerably less innovation.

Both Amadeus and Newmarket have been around since the late 1980s. And competitors like Concur, Opera Property Management Software, and Medallia have all been around for quite a while, too — but none seem to be doing anything disruptive.

Amadeus is based in Madrid, with offices around the world, and has 10,000 employees. Newmarket is based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.


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