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Priceline Acquires Travelweb

Not exactly an airline story, but Priceline has acquired the remaining shares it does not already own of online hotel company Travelweb, which was created by several major hotel chains to wrestle some control away from 3rd party distributors such as Expedia. Depending on who you ask, Travelweb was either a major bust (not true) or a complete success (my feeling); though it was ostensibly created to sell hotel rooms, it really existed to force Expedia to provide better terms to its hotel partners. This happened soon after Travelweb was created. Priceline’s acquisition will allow it offer discount hotel rates to people whose bids for hotel rooms are not accepted. Priceline already offers a similar product for air (it purchased Lowestfare.com a few years ago), and has been successful selling full priced airline tickets to customers whose bids for airfare weren’t accepted. A smart move for Priceline—one they should’ve made years ago.

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