Priceline Pays a Premium, Online Gambling Stateside? And GM Has Recall Deja Vu

Book this…

Image courtesy of smarnad/

Image courtesy of smarnad/ is making big headlines and believe it or not it has nothing to do with William Shatner. Or Kayley Cuoco. Instead, the online hotel booking giant just picked up online restaurant reservation company, OpenTable, to the very hearty price of $2.6 billion. Priceline Group, which also owns, Kayak and other companies, paid approximately $103 per share, a 46% premium in an all cash deal. Shares of of OpenTable shot up 40% from Thursday’s closing price. OpenTable makes reservations for approximately 15 million diners a month to over 31,000 restaurants worldwide. Restaurants pay a fee to OpenTable for the service.

Bet on this…

Image courtesy of foto76/

Image courtesy of foto76/

Speaking of selling businesses, the world’s biggest online poker company, PokerStars, has found a buyer. Canadian-based Amaya Gaming (AMYGF), a gambling equipment supplier,  is betting on the site to the tune of $4.9 billion. Of course, with gambling comes certain regulatory issues and other laws that sometimes make it difficult for online gaming sites to operate. Well in the US, anyways. PokerStars already had to shell out $731 million to settle some money laundering issues. Apparently, the company circumvented a few internet gambling laws, so the Department of Justice isn’t that enthusiastic about the company making its entrance back into the US. In fact its founder, Isai Scheinebrg, is currently under indictment in the US. But the timing of the deal shows signs – maybe subtle in their own special way – that the US is looking to deregulate the pastime.

Not a total recall…

Image courtesy of suphakit73/

Image courtesy of suphakit73/

While GM CEO Mary Barra is getting set to return to Washington next week, the auto company has announced yet another recall. Make that recalls. Many many recalls. Over 500,000 vehicles are being recalled. If only GM could run a tab for recalls…It had a staggering 38 of them this year. This time GM is recalling Chevy Camaros, Saabs and Buick LaCrosses. It seems that in a Camaro, when a driver’s knee bumps the key fob, it can cause the key to move out of the “run” position and lose power.  Definitely problematic. Just a week ago GM was accused of “incompetent negligence.” The company had to hand over a $35 million fine for its aforementioned “incompetent negligence.” Fifteen people were finally fired over the previous recalls involving the ignition switches. Which hardly seems like much considering that those involved knew of the problem for thirteen years. Yes. Thirteen years. Not days. Not weeks. Not months. YEARS.


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