I learnt a long time ago to trust Google search traffic as a source of acquisition rumours. Search traffic to the BOOT hinted at both the Worldspan acquisition by Galileo/Travelport and the Asiarooms acquisition by TUI.
Now my traffic logs are picking up search traffic under the headings "hotelsbycity acquisition" and "hotelsbycity priceline". This is hardly definitive but is certainly enough to start a rumour that Hotelbycity is about to be acquired.
Hotelsbycity is a content/review site (with booking functionality) where consumers post real photos of hotels. Hotelsbycity combine all these photos into an almost room by room map of the hotel. I reviewed them back in January last year. My main comment was that the content was great (especially the jumping on bed PR campaign) but that booking did not work very well. The booking path has improved with support (in my search of San Francisco) of wctravel.com (ie Travelocity).
Anyone out there heard anything about a possible deal? Anyone from Hotelsbycity want to comment?
UPDATE - I cannot find an announcement by Priceline that this deal happened or a reference on the Hotelsbycity website that they are owned by Priceline. But Thompson Financial M&A are claiming that the deal happened in Jan 2008 for a price of CAD$4mm. In July 2008 Gavin O'Malle at Online Media Daily refers to the deal in an article about Travel Ad Network. PIrclien do have Hotelsbycity listed as a partner on their Priceline Parnter Network site but that is about it. Anyone out there know the real story???