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Businesses The Internet

Priceline To Buy OpenTable For $2.6 Billion 43

Posted by Soulskill
from the monopoly-money dept.
An anonymous reader sends this news from Bloomberg: Priceline Group Inc. stepped up its acquisition spree by buying OpenTable Inc. in a deal valued at $2.6 billion, adding restaurant bookings to an online travel business already spanning flights, hotels and cars. The all-cash offer of $103 per share for the popular Internet restaurant reservation company is 46 percent higher than OpenTable's closing price yesterday. The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter, the companies said in a statement today. Priceline is buying a company that seats over 15 million diners per month across more than 31,000 restaurants via online bookings.
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Priceline To Buy OpenTable For $2.6 Billion

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:47AM (#47230339)

    William Shatner handled the negotiations.

  • a 4 star mystery restaurant at a time of our choosing for 50% off regular price

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That sounds kinda fun...

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        That sounds kinda fun...

        Concur.

        I'd go to a fixed price mystery dinner if the fixed price were attractive enough.

  • In a Bubble (Score:4, Insightful)

    by organgtool (966989) on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:49AM (#47230357)
    At this point, I think it's safe to say that we're in another tech bubble. But at least we can have fun seeing which bubble bursts first (HFT, medical, student loan, or tech).
    • by DarthVain (724186)

      I was thinking the same thing. There was a slashdot article a few weeks ago asking if we were in another tech bubble, and I was like, nah.....

      However now, I am not so sure. This is like the rest of these multi-Billion dollar deals, for companies I have never heard of, and probably like most people on slashdot consider myself pretty savvy insofar as tech news goes...

  • Obsolete (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:49AM (#47230359)

    Too bad restaurants are soon to be obsolete with 3D printing!

  • 2.6 Billion. Really ?

    Holy shit, maybe I should create some fairly non descript website that some hipsters use and then sell it for a whole frigging lot more than it will probabily ever bring in in revenue.

    I have no idea how these people make these values, but they are totally not based on reality.

    We are so totally heading towards a tech bubble burst. Unfortunately, it is my pension that will suffer when it goes pop and a few millionaires walk away smiling with a load of cash.

    • by alen (225700)

      they have a back end solution as well
      combined with priceline you will be able to reserve and prepay most of a vacation to a city

      • by sunking2 (521698)
        Not exploring a city and relying on anonymous reviews to plan your entire experience sounds really fun.
        • by alen (225700)

          i live in NYC

          95% of restaurants here are nothing special and if you took a blind taste test with similar foods you wouldn't know the difference

    • by Ty (15982) on Friday June 13, 2014 @11:26AM (#47230625)

      You clearly have no clue what OpenTable is and what it solves.

      It's a seating and reservation management platform - an essential need for the vast majority of non-casual restaurants. It's implemented as a hardware/software solution that they install on premise, so it works without a network connection.

      In urban markets, they are pretty much a de facto standard, despite being expensive and archaic. Their website and mobile apps drive so many reservations that restaurant managers are more than willing to pay the hefty fees. Those consist of an installation fee (hundreds $), monthly maintenance fee (hundreds $), and per-reservation fee ($1 - $10 per PERSON).

      As a technologist working in the restaurant industry, I really dislike them because both their consumer and front of house software sucks so much. That said, they're a real business, with real revenue, solving real problems, for real customers. So yeah, go make a "website for hipsters" and wait for your $2.6bn payout, since it's so easy.

      • Open Table's fees become much more tolerable when you go through a 3rd party that integrates it; they work out special deals for the 3rd party, so they can bundle it cheaply (or free) with other services.

      • "it works without a network connection"?

        Funny then how reservation informatoin about my friend's restaurants aren't available when they lack internet connectivity.

    • It sounds like you're trying to ask a rhetorical question... But it comes across as "Shit, maybe I should make some money!". Why yes...yes you should.
    • by Fnord666 (889225)

      Holy shit, maybe I should create some fairly non descript website that some hipsters use and then sell it for a whole frigging lot more than it will probabily ever bring in in revenue.

      You definitely should. Stop back by when you're done and let us know how it works out.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday June 13, 2014 @10:56AM (#47230423) Homepage
    Having worked in food service as a manager and a cook, Opentable has a rather guest/customer oriented understanding of how restaraunts and reservations actually work. As a restaraunt you can really only count on a reservation during 2 major holidays: valentines day and new years eve. Even then, about 20% will completely skip out on their reservation for any number of uncontrollable factors (i once had a rain storm that wiped out 3 hours of reserved dining.) Its irritating but sometimes you make out OK by backfilling walkins, but the trick is to not be given the scarlet letter of 'reservations only.'
    most restaraunts avoid becoming too reliant on reservations, as there is an unspoken 1:8 rule that says for every person you turn away they remind 8 of their friends (including yelp) that you "only take reservations." Also once a restaraunt hits that fabled 1 year mark, reservations and foot traffic diminish reather precipitously. Pretty soon that 'opentbl' button on the PoS becomes the most unused thing on there. Its also worth mentioning that if you dont have opentable+pos then the manager or server at the lead PoS station is charged with ensuring that reservation is hand-marked, so theyll need email and need to be told to check it every 15 minutes (PoS slaves do not have applications.) Any server that gets busy during peak 'reservation time' and forgets to check now has to deal with customers screaming 'something something fucking opentable!' I have to hand it to restaraunts that flat-out refuse to handle reservations as well because apps like opentable have taken dining spots once frequented by locals and restricted them to foursquare clutching townies and business travelers for the majority of the week.
    • by afidel (530433)

      Also once a restaraunt hits that fabled 1 year mark, reservations and foot traffic diminish reather precipitously.

      Let me guess, LA or NYC? Because here in Cleveland, despite having a booming number of good to great restaurants, the top few hundred places all require a reservation if you want a decent slot on a Friday or Saturday evening even though some of them have been open for decades.

    • Interesting take. From a consumer perspective, I really won't eat anywhere (other than grabbing a sandwich) that doesn't take reservations, or where I'm not sure that I'll get a table on arrival. Life's too short to wait in restaurant lines. I'm perfectly happy, however, when restaurants require a deposit to hold a reservation. For example, I have dinner plans for tomorrow night. Restaurant (booked via OpenTable, FWIW), runs a $100 per person authorization on my credit card at the time of the reservati

  • The URL is: .../priceline-to-buy-opentable-for-26-billion
  • Bubble bubble... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ErichTheRed (39327) on Friday June 13, 2014 @11:13AM (#47230519)

    The last dotcom bubble left us with huge amounts of equipment, dark fiber and Aeron chairs. I wonder what we're going to get out of this one?

    It's a shame to see it happening again, but I guess I'll just sit back and watch like I did last time. I still wonder why I don't jump in and make my millions at the right time during these bubbles, but whatever....

    Uber, Lyft, WhatsApp, Twitter and now OpenTable are going to be the next pets.com, boo.com and webvan.com.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      doesn't matter, zero money is lost on these. of course, there are winners and losers in the game

    • by smaddox (928261)

      The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. In order to profit from a bust it is very helpful to be rich enough to force a crash.

    • Uber is not going anywhere any time soon. It's dramatically better than the alternative (taxi). There will be bitching and moaning and lobbying in some areas, but it's too late to stop the paradigm shift. Twitter and WhatsApp and OpenTable are easily imitable, so those are more susceptible to cultural shifts and trends.
  • New Ads will start appearing on TV. You put in your bid for a meal, they contact the restaurants and fine one willing to take your money. You do not get a choice of time, date or meal, just a guaranteed reservation in a restaurant in your city.
  • Not bad 2.6B for 580 -> ~4,5mil/employee.
    FB though is 165B for 6820 -> 24mil per.
    Where I work is ~1mil/employee

    Has the bubble formed yet?

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