**Priceline Dumps Gas, Groceries

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Priceline.com announced yesterday morning that it is shutting down WebHouse Club, the gas-and-grocery arm of its operations.

"Short term, gas and groceries are unprofitable, and the market is looking for fast profitability, so we can't raise capital for gas and groceries," said Priceline founder Jay Walker, adding that the company's other business is unaffected by the decision. "Priceline has all the capital it needs."

The company posted a statement on its Web site announcing the decision to its customers: "The WebHouse Club will be winding down its business over the next 90 days, after which it will cease operations. Rest assured that the WebHouse Club will honor our obligations to customers and suppliers. This announcement does not apply to any service of priceline.com -- such as airline tickets, hotel rooms, new cars, long distance, etc. It only applies to the WebHouse Club Grocery & Gasoline services.

"Please do not use your Green WebHouse Grocery Card or Blue Gasoline Card for any further transactions at the grocery store or gas station. No later than Friday, October 20th, we will automatically issue a credit to your credit card on file at the WebHouse Club for the full amount of any groceries or gasoline you have not picked up."

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