Priceline.com Strikes AOL Marketing Deal

“Name your own price” e-commerce player Priceline.com has a powerful new marketing partner, signing an agreement on Monday with AOL Time Warner to promote Priceline’s travel deals across its online outlets.

The deal will see New York-based AOL promoting Norwalk, Conn-based Priceline.com across its interactive properties — including the Travel Channel on the America Online service. Priceline.com’s airline tickets, hotel, rental cars and vacation packages also will appear in related areas on the media giant’s CompuServe service, as well as its Netscape.com and MapQuest Web properties.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The move marks the first effort by Priceline, which has until now relied entirely on TV and radio media buys to promote itself, to partner with major Web publishers to distribute its service.

“We’re delighted to enter into this new agreement with America Online, which will bring our great selection of travel services to the largest consumer audience in cyberspace,” said Priceline chief marketing officer Brett Keller. “In a short period of time, priceline.com has built a base of 12 million customers, and we believe the tremendous strength of America Online’s membership will be a powerful complement to our own customer base.”

For AOL, the partnership comes as part of a larger effort to serve as a marketing partner for more traditional players in the travel industry. Earlier today, the company signed a marketing agreement with Delta Air Lines to use special promotions and sweepstakes to entice consumers to travel domestically.

“Going online has become an essential part of making travel plans, and we’re pleased to enter into this new alliance with priceline.com, one of the most-recognized Web brands,” said Jonathan Sacks, who is president of America Online’s interactive services unit. “We believe priceline.com will be a great addition to our travel offering, providing the millions of AOL and CompuServe members and users of our Web-based properties with easy access to even more of the best travel deals online.”

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