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Priceline Buys OpenTable for $2.6 Billion

Flight booker gets second chance at diversifying offers

The Priceline Group has agreed to purchase restaurant digital bookings company OpenTable for $2.6 billion.

It's an intriguing move by the Norwalk, Conn.-based parent firm of Priceline.com, bringing together two major e-commerce brands from different hospitality niches and opposites sides of the country. OpenTable is headquartered in San Francisco.

Priceline, like so many Web companies in the last few years, has unsuccessfully treaded on Groupon's daily deals turf with discounts from local restaurants. So whether OpenTable will renew Priceline's interest in local eatery deals—by increasing the former's relatively modest initiative in that space—will be worth observing.

At the very least, with the OpenTable pickup, Priceline Group gets back into the restaurant game and diversifies its portfolio of consumer services.

The company, which also owns Kayak.com, Booking.com, Agoda.com and RentalCars.com, is on a bit of a shopping spree this week. Priceline Group also bought hotels-focused digital marketing player Buuteeq for an undisclosed sum on Tuesday.

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