cuts staff, postpones new services

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Most Popular is postponing the introduction of new services and laying off 48 employees, the latest sign the "name your price" e-commerce company is under increasing performance pressure. The layoffs represent 11 percent of Priceline's current staff. As part of a corporate restructuring, the company said that it would indefinitely postpone the introduction of several new business ideas - including a business-to-business service and the sale of life insurance through its site - to concentrate on its core services. In recent weeks, Priceline laid off 87 employees, 16 percent of its staff, and four key executives resigned, including Heidi Miller, chief financial officer. The layoffs and restructuring are an effort to move the company toward profitability, said Brian Ek, a company spokesman. In addition, Priceline said it has abandoned talks with Softbank to creat a Priceline affiliate in Japan. Hill, Holliday, Cosmopulous, Boston, is Priceline's agency.

Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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