Lastminute.com, a virtual emblem of information technology's triumph in the dot-com years, has been sold at a remarkably low price by Sabre Holdings to its rival, Bravofly Rumbo Group, which is listed on the Swiss stock exchange.
Sabre Holdings paid £600 million for the British travel website in 2005; the Bravofly Rumbo Group has just picked it up for only $120 million.
Experts believe that Lastminute, created in 1998, has not succeeded in keeping the pace in a world of mobile apps and intelligent "machine learning" techniques that have helped competitors such as Skyscanner, Kayak, and Momondo, acquire hugely significant market shares.
"Mobile is the perfect tool for doing things at the last minute and doing things at the right time and place," said Brent Hoberman, one of Lastminute’s co-founders, who sold his stake in 2005.
"Combined with the incredible growth of the internet and the lower cost of technology, it’s now much easier to get more and better deals based on people’s past behaviour, state of mind, and location."