RealTime IT News

Priceline Buys a Rival's Domain

First Lowestfare.com stopped selling airline tickets, and now the operation owned by financier Carl Icahn, former chairman of TWA, has sold its trademarks and domain names to name-your-own-price travel company Priceline.com.

Norwalk, Conn.-based Priceline said the Lowestfare.com Web site is still operational. Priceline will be making its services for airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars and vacation packages available to visitors.

The Web site today carried a notice saying that: "We're working on a brand new website with more low-cost travel bargains than ever before! Check back soon for the latest!"

Lowestfare stopped selling airline tickets in May. Icahn reportedly had an inside deal for discounted tickets with TWA, but lost the edge when American Airlines bought the bankrupt TWA a year ago in a half-billion-dollar deal.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Priceline, now the ticketing engine for auction site eBay , has been steadily expanding its reach and earlier this week inked a deal to feature its name-your-own-price service for leisure airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars and other vacation offerings on LastMinuteTravel.com.

According to Neilsen Net Ratings, Lowestfare.com had 602,000 unique visitors in March.

Las Vegas-based Lowestfare, founded in 1995, owns Jetset Tours, an international airline ticket consolidator and tour operator, and Maupintour, a luxury escorted tour provider. Priceline said that vacation products previously marketed on the Lowestfare.com site will now be sold under the Maupintour brands at www.maupintour.com.