Priceline Darren Huston : We Have Double the Hotel Bookings of Expedia

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While Expedia dominated headlines with its more than $6 billion worth of acquisitions in 2015, the Priceline Group needs to win the narrative back and CEO Darren Huston made his case about his company's competitive advantages.

"Our capabilities and scale in partner acquisition, customer experience, and efficient demand generation plus our large installed base of accommodations and loyal travelers give the Priceline Group a competitive moat that is deep and wide," Huston said.

If there were any doubts that Huston's comments were at least in part an answer to some of Expedia's gains, including Expedia's 39 percent fourth quarter growth in room nights sold, although they were pumped up by acquisitions, then consider this Huston zinger:

"Our customers made reservations for over 432 million room nights on Priceline Group platforms in 2015, over twice as many as our next biggest competitor," Huston said.

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He added: "We don't take any competitor lightly, and we compete ferociously every day, continuously seeking a higher executional gear in every facet of our business."

Beyond all of the rhetoric from the Priceline and Expedia camps, we decided to compare some of their most important fourth quarter of 2015 metrics despite the fact that they are very different businesses. The Priceline Group is more hotel-oriented and derives more of its revenue from non-U.S. points of sale while Expedia Inc. offers a more well-rounded assortment of products, including a much bigger airline-tickets business, cruises and tours and activities.

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