Once Amazon sold only books. Now it sells everything. Generically branded Priceline has its roots in online retail travel – booking.com, agoda.com, priceline.com etc – but a series of recent acquisitions indicates that may only be a platform from which it can diversify and grow.
Over the past few days Priceline has bought restaurant booking service OpenTable for USD2.6bn and hotel technology provider Buuteeq for an undisclosed sum.
It’s also emerged that HotelNinjas, another accommodation tech company, quietly become part of Priceline a couple of months ago.
The logic is easy to see in these acquisitions.
OpenTable – Priceline can apply its hotel distribution, marketing and technology expertise to the restaurant industry.
With Buuteeq and HotelNinjas, Priceline now has the capacity to become a technology partner of the hundreds of thousands of hotels and villas its sells through its websites.
A one-stop-shop for the accommodation industry. No need to go anywhere else.
Now these deals are done, why would Priceline stop there?
Consolidation and integration are the obvious answer but once that’s occurred, new challenges no doubt await.
Moreover, product segmentation is a proven strategy for the company.
Lifestyle products are the obvious starting point.
But the the Amazonisation of Priceline, if we can call it that (and should it happen), will be very much a long game.
Yet you feel bold moves are essential to ensure the company’s stellar growth rates continue.
Retail travel can only take Priceline so far.
And Priceline is not a company that sits still.