*Walker Leaves Priceline.com's Board

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Name-your-own-price Internet firm Priceline.com announced that founder Jay Walker stepped down Sunday from its board of directors.


Walker said he was leaving the board to focus on Walker Digital LLC, Stamford, CT, his intellectual property concern.


Walker recently assumed the role of CEO at Walker Digital, which invented Priceline's business model.


Walker's decision to step down follows an announcement earlier in December that Priceline would not proceed with a plan to implement cellular telephone, term life insurance and business-to-business services. That decision followed the collapse of talks between Priceline and Japan's Softbank E-Commerce Corp. for a buyer-driven service in the Japanese market.


In October, Priceline was forced out of the grocery, gas and used-merchandise businesses for lack of cash and customers willing to name their own prices in those categories.


Also, the company has recently lost key executives, including chief financial officer Heidi Miller who had moved from the same position at Citigroup in February.


Priceline shares closed at $1.31, down 9 cents, on the Nasdaq in trading on Dec. 28, and were still trading at around $1.31 at midday on Dec. 29.

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