RealTime IT News

Expedia.com Takes Aim at Priceline

Expedia.com Wednesday upped the ante on closest competitorPriceline.com, with the introduction of its a "name your price" service for hotels.

The news sent Priceline (PCLN) shares tumbling 4-3/4 to 63-1/16 in late-afternoon trading.

Hotel Price Matcher allows Expedia users to name their own price for rooms and find out in moments if accommodations at their price is available. The site also lists different classes of hotels and estimated standard room rates in a variety of cities.

Expedia, a unit of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is collaborating with a number of nationally-recognized hotel brands to provide rooms for the new service. Participating chains include Mirage Resorts Inc., MGM Grand Inc. and MeriStar Hotels & Resorts Inc., the largest franchisee of Hilton, Sheraton and Westin in the country.

"With the introduction of Hotel Price Matcher and the new upgrade to our Hotel Wizard, Expedia.com continues to raise the bar in online travel," said Richard Barton, business unit manager, Expedia.com.

"This expansion to our hotel section is a winning solution for both our consumers and participating hotels."

The world's leading online travel service also upgraded Hotel Wizard to allow customers to find a hotel near an address and easily sort search results by chain, price, city and distance.

Hotel Price Matcher clients will enjoy benefits for using Expedia.com. These include a 12-month credit card guarantee, a privacy policy backed by Truste, security through site encryption in addition to the other online travel services.

To launch the new service, Expedia.com is offering to give Hotel Price Matcher clients a $25 credit card reward if their offer is matched from Sept. 9 to Oct. 6.