Priceline, the discount travel service and William Shatner's hotel-booking service of choice, has made a deal to acquire the popular restaurant reservation site OpenTable for $2.6 billion in an all cash deal. OpenTable is the leader in its field, and it makes a for a natural fit beside Priceline, which handles travel services like booking flights, car rentals, and vacation packages. OpenTable will continue to operate as an independent company with its existing management. Priceline has taken this approach with other acquisitions too, such as with the travel site Kayak.
"OpenTable is a great match for The Priceline Group," company CEO Darren Huston says in a statement. "They provide us with a natural extension into restaurant marketing services and a wonderful and highly valued booking experience for our global customers." Hurston says that Priceline will be able to help OpenTable continue to expand globally. Though other big names have tried to move in on restaurant reservations — such as Yelp — OpenTable's vast head start in the space puts Priceline at a huge advantage going forward, as will Priceline's existing partnerships with hotels likely be of value to OpenTable. The purchase is expected to close later this summer, pending regulatory approval.