The $2.6 billion acquisition of OpenTable by Priceline bounced a number of companies’ share prices today, including a 3.91 percent rise for Groupon, and a 2.39 percent bump for Zillow. Yelp, however, shot north 13.79 percent.
Investors seem to be betting that, in the wake of the OpenTable deal — executed at a more than 40 percent premium — other companies that are local and location-focused could be takeover targets, as well. As such, they piled in, and sent some of those firms up.
Yelp has OpenTable integrated into its platform, powering restaurant reservations and making it more than an adjacent service. Yelp’s comparably higher market capitalization of $5.36 billion, makes it a harder piece to swallow, but still potentially in play.
Local data is valuable. Amazon has begun to collect the stuff. Google bought Zagat. Google also collects review information from its users. Microsoft’s Bing uses Yelp data. And that, perhaps, Microsoft or Apple might snag Yelp and bake its dataset into their larger platform offerings isn’t out of the question.
With the OpenTable deal setting a per-share premium threshold for the market, Yelp especially, and other firms that face the local and location markets, have calculable upside. Keep in mind that incumbent technology firms are currently very cash-rich and looking for an edge.
Yelp declined to comment.