Acquisition Strategy of Priceline on CNBC

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The idea behind the acquisition strategy is that each deal adds some new capability to Priceline.

Darren Huston deal-making and re-engineering is taking Priceline to a new place.

1. Small teams + attention to detail = results.

Darren Huston consulting history at McKinsey made him a fan of using small teams that intensely observe particular operations questions. At Priceline, which was already a detail-oriented culture, he's using these teams to address problems as small as A/B tests for specific features on the companies sites and as important as re-engineering technology acquired in the OpenTable deal.

2. Small acquisitions can bring big results.

Priceline's huge success has stemmed principally from the acquisition of, a deal that cost less than $200 million. More recent small deals to build out Priceline's technology platform may let it become a behind-the-scenes services provider to hotels, making a significant new business.

3. Online marketing works — if you're fanatical about it.

While William Shatner is the familiar face of Priceline, its ad budget is spent mostly online. Priceline is known for its disciplined analysis of its online spending and its mastery of search-engine optimization.

4. Humility is good.

Priceline's renaissance stemmed largely from detoxifying the company of founder Jay Walker's capacious ego. Former Priceline chairman Jeff Boyd, whom Huston replaced as CEO, set a more modest tone. Huston's been known to spice his speeches with the mantra: Stay "hungry and humble.″

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