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Priceline To Buy OpenTable For $2.6 Billion

Soulskill posted about a month and a half ago | from the monopoly-money dept.

Businesses 43

An anonymous reader sends this news from Bloomberg: Priceline Group Inc. stepped up its acquisition spree by buying OpenTable Inc. in a deal valued at $2.6 billion, adding restaurant bookings to an online travel business already spanning flights, hotels and cars. The all-cash offer of $103 per share for the popular Internet restaurant reservation company is 46 percent higher than OpenTable's closing price yesterday. The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter, the companies said in a statement today. Priceline is buying a company that seats over 15 million diners per month across more than 31,000 restaurants via online bookings.

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43 comments

In non-surprising news (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47230339)

William Shatner handled the negotiations.

"He's dipped, Jim!" (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230443)

sorry, but somebody had to do it.

here come mystery reservations (1)

alen (225700) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230353)

a 4 star mystery restaurant at a time of our choosing for 50% off regular price

Re:here come mystery reservations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47230453)

That sounds kinda fun...

Re:here come mystery reservations (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about a month and a half ago | (#47231545)

That sounds kinda fun...

Concur.

I'd go to a fixed price mystery dinner if the fixed price were attractive enough.

In a Bubble (3, Insightful)

organgtool (966989) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230357)

At this point, I think it's safe to say that we're in another tech bubble. But at least we can have fun seeing which bubble bursts first (HFT, medical, student loan, or tech).

Re:In a Bubble (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a month and a half ago | (#47253483)

I was thinking the same thing. There was a slashdot article a few weeks ago asking if we were in another tech bubble, and I was like, nah.....

However now, I am not so sure. This is like the rest of these multi-Billion dollar deals, for companies I have never heard of, and probably like most people on slashdot consider myself pretty savvy insofar as tech news goes...

Obsolete (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47230359)

Too bad restaurants are soon to be obsolete with 3D printing!

What "ass"tounding value (1)

Stu101 (1031686) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230363)

2.6 Billion. Really ?

Holy shit, maybe I should create some fairly non descript website that some hipsters use and then sell it for a whole frigging lot more than it will probabily ever bring in in revenue.

I have no idea how these people make these values, but they are totally not based on reality.

We are so totally heading towards a tech bubble burst. Unfortunately, it is my pension that will suffer when it goes pop and a few millionaires walk away smiling with a load of cash.

Re:What "ass"tounding value (1)

alen (225700) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230593)

they have a back end solution as well
combined with priceline you will be able to reserve and prepay most of a vacation to a city

Re:What "ass"tounding value (2)

sunking2 (521698) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230663)

Not exploring a city and relying on anonymous reviews to plan your entire experience sounds really fun.

Re:What "ass"tounding value (1)

alen (225700) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230689)

i live in NYC

95% of restaurants here are nothing special and if you took a blind taste test with similar foods you wouldn't know the difference

Re:What "ass"tounding value (3, Interesting)

Ty (15982) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230625)

You clearly have no clue what OpenTable is and what it solves.

It's a seating and reservation management platform - an essential need for the vast majority of non-casual restaurants. It's implemented as a hardware/software solution that they install on premise, so it works without a network connection.

In urban markets, they are pretty much a de facto standard, despite being expensive and archaic. Their website and mobile apps drive so many reservations that restaurant managers are more than willing to pay the hefty fees. Those consist of an installation fee (hundreds $), monthly maintenance fee (hundreds $), and per-reservation fee ($1 - $10 per PERSON).

As a technologist working in the restaurant industry, I really dislike them because both their consumer and front of house software sucks so much. That said, they're a real business, with real revenue, solving real problems, for real customers. So yeah, go make a "website for hipsters" and wait for your $2.6bn payout, since it's so easy.

Re:What "ass"tounding value (1)

SocialEngineer (673690) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230919)

Open Table's fees become much more tolerable when you go through a 3rd party that integrates it; they work out special deals for the 3rd party, so they can bundle it cheaply (or free) with other services.

Re:What "ass"tounding value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47232625)

As a technologist working in the restaurant industry, I really dislike them because both their consumer and front of house software sucks so much. That said, they're a real business, with real revenue, solving real problems, for real customers. So yeah, go make a "website for hipsters" and wait for your $2.6bn payout, since it's so easy.

This.

Also, OPEN exited. It no longer matters whether they last long enough to return $2.6B in their shareholders through 20 years of sustainable dividend income fueled by a sustainable business model, or if they flame out in the next five years as a cultural shift occurs and all 300 million of us replace dining out with having AMZN drones deliver Soylent to our doorsteps.

Congratulations to OpenTable employees and investors. You made money today, and you earned it. I'd rather have 0.001% of a company like OPEN than 100% of a company that failed because its founder was too convinced of his own greatness (or his management team was so convinced they wanted to keep their own jobs!) to take the exit.

Re:What "ass"tounding value (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | about a month and a half ago | (#47232879)

"it works without a network connection"?

Funny then how reservation informatoin about my friend's restaurants aren't available when they lack internet connectivity.

Re: What "ass"tounding value (2)

Jeff Deptola (3693575) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230629)

It sounds like you're trying to ask a rhetorical question... But it comes across as "Shit, maybe I should make some money!". Why yes...yes you should.

Re:What "ass"tounding value (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a month and a half ago | (#47231199)

Holy shit, maybe I should create some fairly non descript website that some hipsters use and then sell it for a whole frigging lot more than it will probabily ever bring in in revenue.

You definitely should. Stop back by when you're done and let us know how it works out.

OpenTable? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47230367)

Nice to know they're worth 2.6 billion, this is the first time I've ever heard about them.

Re:OpenTable? (1)

SocialEngineer (673690) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230415)

They're pretty big in the digital marketing world for restaurants. They've got a number of clones popping up now trying to mimic some of the better aspects of the business.

Re:OpenTable? (1, Funny)

alen (225700) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230555)

you can't reserve tables at fast food or chain restaraunts

Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47230375)

I eat out quite often, but never have i heard of opentable.

Re:Huh (0, Troll)

alen (225700) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230615)

applebees and olive garden don't count

opentable is no different than calling. (4, Informative)

nimbius (983462) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230423)

Having worked in food service as a manager and a cook, Opentable has a rather guest/customer oriented understanding of how restaraunts and reservations actually work. As a restaraunt you can really only count on a reservation during 2 major holidays: valentines day and new years eve. Even then, about 20% will completely skip out on their reservation for any number of uncontrollable factors (i once had a rain storm that wiped out 3 hours of reserved dining.) Its irritating but sometimes you make out OK by backfilling walkins, but the trick is to not be given the scarlet letter of 'reservations only.'
most restaraunts avoid becoming too reliant on reservations, as there is an unspoken 1:8 rule that says for every person you turn away they remind 8 of their friends (including yelp) that you "only take reservations." Also once a restaraunt hits that fabled 1 year mark, reservations and foot traffic diminish reather precipitously. Pretty soon that 'opentbl' button on the PoS becomes the most unused thing on there. Its also worth mentioning that if you dont have opentable+pos then the manager or server at the lead PoS station is charged with ensuring that reservation is hand-marked, so theyll need email and need to be told to check it every 15 minutes (PoS slaves do not have applications.) Any server that gets busy during peak 'reservation time' and forgets to check now has to deal with customers screaming 'something something fucking opentable!' I have to hand it to restaraunts that flat-out refuse to handle reservations as well because apps like opentable have taken dining spots once frequented by locals and restricted them to foursquare clutching townies and business travelers for the majority of the week.

Re:opentable is no different than calling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47230733)

The majority of restaurants I tried to make reservations on didn't allow opentable on Valentine's day. Probably not New Years either. But for the rest of the year it seems available.

Re:opentable is no different than calling. (1)

afidel (530433) | about a month and a half ago | (#47232485)

Also once a restaraunt hits that fabled 1 year mark, reservations and foot traffic diminish reather precipitously.

Let me guess, LA or NYC? Because here in Cleveland, despite having a booming number of good to great restaurants, the top few hundred places all require a reservation if you want a decent slot on a Friday or Saturday evening even though some of them have been open for decades.

Re:opentable is no different than calling. (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about a month and a half ago | (#47232927)

Interesting take. From a consumer perspective, I really won't eat anywhere (other than grabbing a sandwich) that doesn't take reservations, or where I'm not sure that I'll get a table on arrival. Life's too short to wait in restaurant lines. I'm perfectly happy, however, when restaurants require a deposit to hold a reservation. For example, I have dinner plans for tomorrow night. Restaurant (booked via OpenTable, FWIW), runs a $100 per person authorization on my credit card at the time of the reservation. If I no-show, I lose the deposit.

26 Billion (1)

ShopMgr (1639595) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230487)

The URL is: .../priceline-to-buy-opentable-for-26-billion

Re:26 Billion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47230571)

You do know how periods work in a url, right?

Gawd, I hope someone reading slashdot knows that...

Re:26 Billion (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230613)

He was likely referring to this:
bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-13/priceline-to-buy-opentable-in-deal-valued-at-2-6-billion.html
tech.slashdot.org/story/14/06/13/1445252/priceline-to-buy-opentable-for-26-billion

Both violate accessibility/usability rules ("rules") for URLs (sorry, "URIs").

Bubble bubble... (2, Insightful)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230519)

The last dotcom bubble left us with huge amounts of equipment, dark fiber and Aeron chairs. I wonder what we're going to get out of this one?

It's a shame to see it happening again, but I guess I'll just sit back and watch like I did last time. I still wonder why I don't jump in and make my millions at the right time during these bubbles, but whatever....

Uber, Lyft, WhatsApp, Twitter and now OpenTable are going to be the next pets.com, boo.com and webvan.com.

Re:Bubble bubble... (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230561)

doesn't matter, zero money is lost on these. of course, there are winners and losers in the game

Re:Bubble bubble... (1)

smaddox (928261) | about a month and a half ago | (#47231041)

The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. In order to profit from a bust it is very helpful to be rich enough to force a crash.

Re:Bubble bubble... (1)

un1nsp1red (2503532) | about a month and a half ago | (#47231339)

Uber is not going anywhere any time soon. It's dramatically better than the alternative (taxi). There will be bitching and moaning and lobbying in some areas, but it's too late to stop the paradigm shift. Twitter and WhatsApp and OpenTable are easily imitable, so those are more susceptible to cultural shifts and trends.

Re:Bubble bubble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47232411)

Worthless, obsolete $99 tablets. That's all you get to keep.

Re:Bubble bubble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47232809)

The last dotcom bubble left us with huge amounts of equipment, dark fiber and Aeron chairs. I wonder what we're going to get out of this one?

Another William Shatner album?

Re:Bubble bubble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47233639)

Web van was doing well but got caught with their pants down after committing to expansion just prior to the vcs pulling out. Fresh direct is proof their model worked. Not ever flop was because the model was flawed. Granted the end result is the same.

Re:Bubble bubble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47236603)

Dude, the joke is on you. That's not going to happen this time, because everything is wireless.

Priceline Bids for Meals (1)

ShopMgr (1639595) | about a month and a half ago | (#47230769)

New Ads will start appearing on TV. You put in your bid for a meal, they contact the restaurants and fine one willing to take your money. You do not get a choice of time, date or meal, just a guaranteed reservation in a restaurant in your city.

Re:Priceline Bids for Meals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47231445)

$2 steak and lobster bud accepted! Yeah, I'll actually eat the food there

Re:Priceline Bids for Meals (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a month and a half ago | (#47231981)

TIP and service fee not included.

Pro tip be a non Tipper at your own risk.

Re:Priceline Bids for Meals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47233627)

Tipping should be illegal.

580 employees (1)

hedley (8715) | about a month and a half ago | (#47232717)

Not bad 2.6B for 580 -> ~4,5mil/employee.
FB though is 165B for 6820 -> 24mil per.
Where I work is ~1mil/employee

Has the bubble formed yet?

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