Priceline cuts staff, restructures

E-tailer Priceline.com on Tuesday cut 65 positions, about 15 percent of its work force, as part of a broader restructuring. The company is also removing its "name your own price" feature from its automobile and long-distance listings. Priceline customers will still be able to get automobile quotes from the site via a deal the company announced earlier this month with Autobytel. Likewise, Priceline will continue to offer long-distance service through its site, but customers will have to choose from preset service plans and phone cards.

The layoffs, which affected 50 full-time employees and 15 consultants, were across the board, but particularly affected the company's automobile and long-distance departments, company spokesman Brian Ek said. The job cuts follow a disappointing third quarter, in which the e-commerce company missed Wall Street earnings expectations and saw its revenue fall by more than $60 million from the year-ago period. Priceline, which has been struggling to compensate for heavy discounting in its core airline ticket business, went through two rounds of layoffs in 2000, cutting 135 employees, or, at the time, about 25 percent of its work force.