The market expects the likes of Google (GOOG) might move on OpenTable, a mobile device restaurant reservation service that Priceline is acquiring for $103 per share, a 46% premium to its price prior to the June 13 deal.
OpenTable shares have traded up to about $1.10 over the deal price.
The situation looks similar to the reaction to Priceline's acquisition of Kayak Software, the hotel reservation company. Kayak shares traded above their value in the 2012 acquisition by Priceline for months without a clear overbid in sight.
Indeed, the deal spread barely corrected when the Kayak transaction was facing potential competition issues in the U.K. In the Kayak situation, Priceline insisted on an exclusivity agreement. That prior negotiation may have arbs predicting that a similar situation existed with OpenTable and the company was not fully shopped.
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