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Priceline, American Express in Joint Marketing Pact

May 25, 2000|Associated Press

Priceline.com Inc. is expanding its "name-your-price" sales pitch to long-distance phone calls. The company also said it has entered a joint marketing alliance with American Express for a new Web portal it's developing to sell long-distance and other business services to small companies. American Express will market the Priceline portal to its more than 2 million small-business customers, offering them a 5% discount on purchases. In exchange, Priceline will feature American Express as the preferred method of payment on the portal. Financial terms of the three-year alliance weren't given. Priceline.com reached agreements with upstarts Net2Phone, Deltathree.com and ZeroPlus.com to provide the long-distance service, saying they can provide customers with savings of up to 40% over calling plans from major carriers. The companies avoid many access fees charged by other carriers by routing calls via the Internet. A drawback to the service is that customers will need to dial an access number to make a call. Priceline is launching a new ad campaign with 15 commercials featuring William Shatner, the actor who played Captain James T. Kirk on the 1960s TV show "Star Trek," to promote the new service.

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