RealTime IT News Expands International Presence

Name-your-price e-tailer Monday entered a partnership with Softbank E-Commerce Corp., stepping into the Japanese marketplace.

Priceline and Softbank E-Commerce Corp. will each make investments in Japan Corp., which is expected to bring's services to Japan beginning with leisure airline tickets and hotels.

Softbank will pay an undisclosed annual licensing fee in respect of's intellectual property.

In addition, will purchase a convertible bond allowing to take a "significant" equity position in the company under certain conditions. Japan Corp. will license's business method and benefit from's expertise in technology, marketing and operations.

Softbank E-Commerce Corp. will contribute its management expertise to help identify, recruit and build Priceline Japan's senior management team, as well as leverage its local supplier contacts to establish "name your price" services in Japan.

The launch is part of's plan for global expansion, according to Richard S. Braddock, chairman of

"Any Internet company looking to build a successful worldwide business and brand must have a significant presence and commitment to the Japanese market," he said.

"Our goal is to establish strategic alliances with the best companies and individuals to help deploy international ventures at Internet speed." Japan is's fourth international expansion. Plans are currently under way to set up Europe later this year.

In January,the company announced the development of the buyer-driven commerce platform Asia, and in February a new company, MyPrice, was announced, which will bring the commerce system to Australia and New Zealand.