The Priceline Group is in the news today for buying OpenTable, the digital restaurant reservations service, for $2.6 billion. Its long-term stock chart is worth a longer look for two reasons:
First, its comeback is one of the most underappreciated business stories ever told, especially for an internet company. De-emphasizing Priceline’s initial “name your own price” model and building around broader internet travel booking turned out to be a great move under CEO Jeff Boyd.
Second, it’s an excellent illustration of broader internet investment over the past 15 years: the dot-com bubble and meltdown, followed by a trough of depression, and then a more gradual build to its highest levels now. Much like the AOL vs. Netflix subscriber swap, it’s a stunning visual depiction of the rise of broadband and the mobile web.