As Priceline Group focuses in on its hotel and home rental business, the online travel company announced it had changed its name on Wednesday (Feb. 21). It is now known as Booking Holdings, according to CNBC reports.
As a result, the company will change its NASDAQ ticker from PCLN to BKNG. Priceline grew during the dot-com era, when it ran advertisements promoting its “name your price” feature for booking flights, then went on an acquisition binge following the dot-com’s crash. It acquired Bookings B.V. in 2005, Kayak in 2013 and OpenTable in 2014, the last of which it bought for $2.6 billion in cash.
Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel said the new name will highlight Priceline’s biggest brand — booking.com — which boasts more than 1.5 million listed properties around the world. Hotel and vacation rentals tend to offer higher margins than flight reservations, though, as carriers offering their own credit cards and airline commissions are not as lucrative as they once were.
Besides Priceline, other big-name retailers have also recently changed their names. In 2017, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced the switch to simply Walmart Inc. The update to the company’s legal entity took effect Feb. 1 and reflects Walmart’s new focus on eCommerce and competing with Amazon, among other goals.
“[The name change] is just a symbol of how customers are shopping us today and how they’ll increasingly shop us in the future,” Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon said at the time. “Whether it’s in our stores, on our sites, with our apps, by using their voice or whatever comes next.”
The first Walmart location opened in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962. It was the creation of Sam Walton, who had previously opened several other stores like the Walton’s 5 & 10. Bob Bogle, one of the first location’s first store managers, gave it the iconic Wal-Mart name. Walmart incorporated as Wal-Mart Inc. in 1969, then changed its name to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in 1970 after it became a public company. The change to Walmart Inc. marks the company’s first in nearly four decades.