American Express Expands Dining Industry Presence with Acquisition of Tock

American Express has announced the acquisition of Squarespace-owned restaurant booking platform Tock for $400 million in an all-cash deal. This strategic move aims to expand American Express’s influence in the dining industry, which saw $100 billion in spending on its cards last year.

This acquisition builds on American Express’s purchase of the online restaurant reservation platform Resy in 2019. Resy provides AmEx cardholders with exclusive access to certain restaurants, including special reservations, early notifications, and cashback offers on bookings made through the platform.

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The integration of Tock will bring an additional 7,000 restaurants, wineries, and other hospitality businesses into the AmEx network. This expansion will enable these establishments to better target AmEx’s premium customers, known for their significant spending.

In a related move, American Express is also acquiring Rooam, a contactless payments platform used by restaurants, bars, and music venues. The financial details of this acquisition have not been disclosed.

These acquisitions are part of American Express’s broader strategy to enhance its offerings and justify higher annual fees, aiming to appeal to affluent consumers and increase customer engagement. William Blair analyst Cristopher Kennedy noted that these experiences serve as effective distribution channels, driving new customers to the brand.

Squarespace, which acquired Tock for a similar amount in 2021, is set to become a leaner entity as it prepares to be taken private by Permira in a nearly $6.9 billion transaction.

American Express shares have risen by 23% this year, outperforming the nearly 15% increase of the S&P 500 index.


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