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Priceline.com rises on American Express, long distance deals

    Priceline.com Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN) gained 3 1/2 to 40, or 10 percent, Thursday after the company announced a deal with American Express and a new long distance subsidiary.

    Shares have done well since Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal put Priceline in his portfolio this month. The company is known for its pricing system, which allows customers to bid for airline tickets, hotel rooms, cars, and home mortgages.

    On Wednesday, Priceline.com signed a business-to-business marketing agreement with American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP). The company said it will create a new Internet portal that American Express will market to its 2 million small-business customers.

    Under the three-year, multi-million dollar agreement, Priceline.com will promote American Express small business cards and lines of credit to its customers, who will be able to apply online.

    Priceline also announced Thursday a subsidiary, Priceline Long Distance, which makes it possible for consumers and small businesses to save up to 40 percent off most standard base rates on their monthly U.S. and international long distance calls.

    Participating with Priceline Long Distance is Net2Phone (Nasdaq: NTOP), the company's anchor IP telephony provider, deltathree.com (Nasdaq: DDDC), and ZeroPlus.com (Nasdaq: ZPLS). In total, the three IP telephony companies account for the majority of all IP telephone calls from the U.S.

    As part of the three-year marketing agreements with Net2Phone, ZeroPlus.com, deltathree.com and other IP telephony companies, Priceline Long Distance will get multi-million-dollar participation fees from participating providers.