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Priceline.com Expands International Presence

Name-your-price e-tailer Priceline.com 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 priceline.com Japan Corp., which is expected to bring priceline.com's services to Japan beginning with leisure airline tickets and hotels.

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

In addition, priceline.com will purchase a convertible bond allowing priceline.com to take a "significant" equity position in the company under certain conditions.

Priceline.com Japan Corp. will license priceline.com's business method and benefit from priceline.com'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 priceline.com's plan for global expansion, according to Richard S. Braddock, chairman of priceline.com.

"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."

Priceline.com Japan is priceline.com's fourth international expansion. Plans are currently under way to set up Priceline.com 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.