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Priceline Buys Kayak for $1.8 Billion Expanding in Travel Inc., the most valuable online-travel agency, is buying Kayak Software Corp. for $1.8 billion, adding profitable search tools to its services that help consumers book flights and hotels online.

Shareholders of Kayak, which held an initial public offering in July, will receive $40 a share, the companies said in a statement yesterday. That represents a 29 percent premium over yesterday’s closing price at $31.04 in New York, and includes about $500 million in cash as well as $1.3 billion in equity and assumed stock options.