Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE) agreed to acquire HomeAway Inc. (Nasdaq: AWAY) for about $3.9 billion in cash and stock, giving the vacation- rental company some muscle as it tries to fend off competition from apartment-sharing startup Airbnb Inc.

The middle market has hosted a handful of travel transactions, including TA Associates' investment in Plusgrade, a revenue service for the travel industry, and Sabre Corp.'s (Nasdaq: SABR) acquisition of Abacus International for $411 million. Chicago private equity firm Thoma Bravo won Mergers & Acquisitions M&A Mid-Market Deal of the Year Award for its purchase of TravelClick for $930 million in 2014.

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