Priceline.com pulls plug on Aust-NZ launch

The launch of myprice - the Australia-New Zealand vehicle for the US's Priceline.com - has been scrapped.

The launch of myprice – the Australia-New Zealand vehicle for the US's Priceline.com – has been scrapped.

Priceline.com announced earlier this year that it would be moving into the Australia and New Zealand market, using the name myprice to avoid a clash with an Australian retail chain.

In September, myprice launched a telecommunications service in Australia, allowing customers to "name your price for telephone minutes". A full launch and marketing campaign based around the introduction of travel services – the company's core business in the US - had been planned.

"The myprice Board of Directors has re-assessed the prospects for the business and has decided to not proceed," chief executive officer Peter Shore said in a statement yesterday. "This decision has been made at a time when myprice has cash reserves to meet obligations to its staff, customers and suppliers, with the remaining funds returned to investors."

The local decision caps off a horror year for Priceline.com, whose stock has fallen from $US104 to less than $7. The company's business model has not only failed to find favour with consumers in new categories it has entered, it has attracted the ire of US state regulators.

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