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Walker Digital Slashes Staff in Restructuring

November 23, 2000|Reuters

Priceline.com Inc., the Internet commerce firm whose shares have lost 96% of their value in the last year, said it will take an unspecified fourth-quarter charge because of a restructuring at its Walker Digital affiliate. Priceline said in a regulatory filing that Walker Digital, a privately held think tank started by Jay Walker, Priceline's founder and vice chairman, "was restructuring its operations and significantly reducing its work force as a result of capital constraints." Stamford, Conn.-based Walker Digital, which developed the Priceline.com concept of buying airline tickets over the Internet, has laid off 100 people, or 80% of its work force, the Stamford Advocate newspaper reported. The company also is closing its offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta, a Walker Digital spokesman told the paper. Priceline said in its filing that Walker Digital had agreed to reimburse it for some legal expenses incurred in connection with certain patent litigations and indemnify Priceline for damages, liabilities and legal expenses for litigation involving Marketel International Inc. However, Priceline now doubts Walker Digital's ability to fulfill those obligations. Priceline shares dipped 3 cents to close at $2.28 on Nasdaq.

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