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Press Release

AmEx invests in restaurant reservation Web site

February 18, 2000
NEW YORK, Feb 18 (Reuters) - American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP) said on Friday it invested in OpenTable.com, a private firm that enables diners to make restaurant reservations online, marking the financial services powerhouse's latest investment in a start-up Web business.

American Express, best known for its charge cards, said the investment will enable it to come up with new products and services for the restaurant industry. The New York-based company, which has made some 20 investments in start-up Internet companies, did not disclose the deal's terms.

OpenTable.com enables diners to make reservations online and check on availability, eliminating the task of calling around in search for a table, American Express said. The start-up company has signed up restaurants in major U.S. cities such as New York and Los Angeles, and plans to expand its service to restaurants nationwide.

``We look forward to combining our experience in the restaurant industry with OpenTable.com's expertise in this area to deliver innovative products and services,'' said Pierric Beckert, senior vice president of Interactive Investments at American Express, in a statement.

American Express previously has invested in emerging Web companies such as online barter exchange BigVine.com and Internet travel business GetThere.com Inc. (NasdaqNM:GTHR).

OpenTable.com already received financing from venture capital firms such as Impact Venture Partners and Benchmark Capital.

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