Chilton Investment and Priceline
Chilton Investment Company started new positions in Sonic Corporation (SONC), Endo International plc (ENDP), Apache Corporation (APA), and Realogy Holdings Corp. (RLGY). It closed positions in FedEx Corporation (FDX) and Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN). Chilton increased position in FleetCor Technologies, Inc. (FLT) and Covidien plc (COV). It decreased positions in Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) and Timken Company (TKR).
Chilton Investment Company exited its position in Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN), which accounted for 1.19% of the fund’s 3Q14 portfolio.
About Priceline Group
Priceline Group (PCLN) is a leading player in the online travel services industry. It has five primary brands and several ancillary brands. Its primary brands are:
PCLN offers accommodation reservations to consumers through its brands Booking.com, priceline.com, and agoda.com. It also offers reservations to consumers for rental cars, airline tickets, vacation packages, and cruises.
Consumers can easily compare information for airline tickets, hotel reservations, and rental car reservations from hundreds of travel websites at once through KAYAK’s websites and mobile applications. PCLN generates revenues through travel commissions, reservation booking fees, and online advertising.
Booking.com launches app for spontaneous bookers
Booking.com, a company owned and operated by Priceline Group, announced in January 2015 the launch of a mobile application called Booking Now. The application transforms the on-demand travel space and provides a personalized booking system to suit customers’ individual preferences. The app binds the data available on user behavior with GPS technology. It then helps the end customer select hotel accommodations from more than 580,000 properties available globally on the application.
Darren Huston, chief executive officer of Booking.com, stated, “With the launch of Booking Now, we’re increasing our investment in mobile by leveraging our global scale, assets and partnerships to accommodate the growing number of customers who are booking reservations within two days or less of their stay. The new App puts users at the center of the booking experience, drawing from our vast database of properties to meet their specific preferences at the very moment they need to book. Booking Now is designed to deliver a seamless mobile experience for spontaneous consumers, fitting perfectly into their multi-device, on-demand lifestyle.”
IBM sues Priceline for patent infringement
In February 2015, IBM filed a lawsuit against PCLN accusing the firm of patent infringement on four IBM patents with respect to Priceline’s dating and travel websites. IBM requested a US court to prohibit PCLN from using patents and award IBM royalties in addition to payment of court fees and other associated costs as the infringement was willful.
Two IBM patents are from the late 1990s. One tracks previous conversations with a user, while the other speeds Internet transmissions. In addition, IBM stated an infringement on a third patent from 2006 that shows Internet advertising. The other patent from 2009 improves on a single sign-on.
IBM alleged that PCLN used these patented technologies on its websites kayak.com and opentable.com.
The next article in the series will explore Chilton Investment’s decreased position in Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN).