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.

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