Orbitz Gains Altitude
Despite a series of outages in its first week, airline consortium travel Web site Orbitz attracted visitors in droves, becoming the fastest- growing site on the Internet, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. In its second official week of operation, Orbitz attracted 689,000 unique visitors, compared with Expedias 1.84 million visitors and Travelocity.coms 1.54 million.
PurchasePro Slashes Staff
E-procurement software vendor PurchasePro continues to sink further into trouble, this time announcing that it will lay off nearly half of its employees. And President Shawn McGhee has resigned. The cuts reduce the work force to about 300.
Welcome Mat at E*Trade
Online brokerage firm E*Trade Group is moving into the home mortgage business. E*Trade Mortgage will feature online application processing, discount mortgage rates and guaranteed closing costs. The service is being built on a technology platform that E*Trade obtained earlier this year through the purchase of LoansDirect.
Three online casinos are being sued by the state of New Jersey, which claims they broke federal law by taking bets from state residents. The offshore, online casinos — 7 Sultans Casino, Aloha Casino and Royal Club Online Casino — have advertised in New Jersey, including on billboards along the Atlantic City Expressway.
Avert, which provides human resources services and employee background checks over the Internet, is being pursued by computer services firm Automatic Data Processing of Roseland, N.J. ADP has offered to acquire Avert at $22 per share, or about $81 million.