Interview: Priceline’s M&A Guru on the Most Successful Acquisition in Online Travel History
In 2004 and 2005, Glenn Fogel, the Priceline Group’s head of worldwide strategy, planning and corporate development, came across Europe’s Active Hotels and Bookings B.V., respectively, which were operating what was then an out-of-favor agency business model.
Fogel thought the management teams were exceptional and was captivated by the business model, and Priceline acquired both companies. And the rest is history. Active Hotels and Bookings B.V. became the foundation for the Booking.com juggernaut, and turned into the most successful acquisitions in online travel history.
Skift sat down with Fogel in Los Angeles last week and discussed a range of topics, including the things that competitors neglected to see about those two landmark acquisitions; the details of his role at the Priceline Group; the focus of the Priceline Ventures Group; what he sees as the innovations of the ride-sharing sector, and advice for travel startups.
Skift: What do you see happening in travel startup land? There’s always discussion about which is the way to go and what’s the most promising arena — B2B startups versus consumer startups. What’s your thinking about that?