Travelocity.com, Preview Travel, Priceline.com Form Marketing Alliance

The soon-to-be-merged Travelocity.com and Preview Travel announced Thursday that they were teaming with Priceline.com in a deal to market each other’s products on their Web sites.

Each company give its customers access to the products and services on the other sites, and will get a cut of revenue when referred customers make purchases.

The deal is an attempt to leverage the companies existing customer base, which numbers a combined 20 million, and use each site’s traffic to build up the others.

The companies say this combined user base is larger than any other travel site. The agreement is seen by many as an attempt to strengthen the companies’ competitive positions relative to Microsoft’s Expedia travel site.

“We intend to combine the core competencies of our respective companies, delivering significant value to our respective members,” says Terrell Jones, president of Travelocity.com. “It will provide unparalleled shopping options for travelers within virtually any budget.”

Priceline.com also hopes the deal will help it as it expands its name-your-price service into other verticals.

“We look forward to working closely with Travelocity.com and Preview Travel to capitalize upon the numerous marketing synergies this alliance creates” says Daniel Schulman, Priceline.com’s president and COO.

“We also expect that, as Priceline.com continues to horizontally scale our business in other categories such as mortgages and new cars, this alliance will help us quickly grow our customer bases in those businesses as well.”

Travelocity.com, which is owned by Sabre Inc., announced plans to merge with Preview Travel back in October. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

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