Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN), Travelocity.com and Preview Travel (NASDAQ: PTVL) today announced that the companies plan to form an innovative, broadly-based marketing alliance. Under the alliance, the companies will leverage their combined user base of more than 20 million travelers, offering seamless access to each other’s air products and services on their Web sites and through their affiliates. In addition, the companies will generate incremental revenue each time they facilitate the sale of each others’ products under certain conditions. The agreement builds the respective customer bases of each company and satisfies the needs of even more travelers.
Upon implementation, Travelocity.com and Preview Travel members will be able to name their own prices through the priceline.com service. And priceline.com’s customers will have access to Travelocity.com’s and Preview Travel’s retail fares. The new marketing alliance will leverage a member base nearly twice the size of the next-largest Internet travel site. The companies’ plans are contained in a memoranda of understanding and the companies plan to finalize their alliance promptly.
Priceline.com’s patented “name your own price” travel service now accounts for over two percent of leisure airline tickets sold in the U.S. In its first 20 months of operation, priceline.com has accumulated over 3 million unique customers.
“This alliance is what Web travel customers have wanted for a long time,” said Daniel H. Schulman, priceline.com’s president and COO. “In the past, if you wanted the best travel deal it meant surfing from site to site spending precious time. This alliance will make it possible to go to our own sites or many of the nation’s largest search engines, ISPs and online services to buy travel products at the price you want. This convenience is what the Internet was intended to deliver. Now it will.”
“We intend to combine the core competencies of our respective companies, delivering significant value to our respective members,” said Terrell B. Jones, president of Travelocity.com. “It will provide unparalleled shopping options for travelers within virtually any budget.”
“The nature of this agreement will allow each partner to better serve the needs of their customers, while enjoying the economic benefits associated with this alliance,” said Jim Hornthal, founder and chairman, Preview Travel.
Schulman added, “This is a win/win for Travelocity.com, Preview Travel and priceline.com. It gives our companies access to the Internet’s largest customer base of over 20 million consumers who have already indicated an interest in purchasing travel services. As we move ahead with our new Priceline2000 services (see separate release), we look forward to working closely with Travelocity.com and Preview Travel to capitalize upon the numerous marketing synergies this alliance creates. We also expect that, as priceline.com continues to horizontally scale our business in other categories such as mortgages and new cars, this alliance will help us quickly grow our customer bases in those businesses as well.”