Strategy

Priceline Changes Name to Booking Holdings

The change will "more accurately align" the company with Booking.com, now its largest business.
Matthew HellerFebruary 22, 2018

Online travel pioneer Priceline Group has changed its name to Booking Holdings Inc. to reflect the evolution of its business since it acquired Booking.com, now its largest brand, in 2005.

The group has expanded from namesake Priceline.com, the reservations website for hotels, flights, and rental cars, to six primary brands that also include Kayak, Asia-based accommodations website Agoda.com, Rentalcars.com, and restaurant reservations site OpenTable.

But it is Booking.com that now leads all of the brands with listings for more than 1.5 million properties and an average of more than one million bookings per day. It also produces a “significant majority” of the group’s gross bookings and operating profit, according to Priceline.

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“We are at a defining moment in our company’s history — making this change to more accurately align our company with our largest business, connect our collective brand to a name that reflects their shared capability to help customers book amazing experiences, as well as better reflect the truly global operation that we have become today,” CEO Glenn Fogel said in a news release.

Booking Holdings’ main competitor in the online travel space is Expedia, whose brands include Hotels.com and Home Away. Booking.com, which was founded in the Netherlands, was acquired by Priceline in 2005 for $133 million.

The acquisition gave Priceline an entree to the European travel market and was largely responsible for taking the company from a loss of $19 million in 2002 to a profit of $1.1 billion in 2011.

According to Forbes, “There’s always the risk that the Booking.com brand could be eclipsed in the future, like what happened to the company’s previous name.” But Fogel said the Booking Holdings name also reflects part of the core behavior that ties the group together.

“All of them do one thing in common, and that is booking things that help people experience the world,” he told Forbes.

Fogel also believes the name change will promote awareness of the company’s non-hotel offerings of “homes, apartments and other unique places to stay…. Part of changing this name to Booking Holdings [is] becoming aware of all the things that we do.”