Booking.com, one of the richest and most successful internet companies in Europe, has been a mystery for twenty-five years. Everyone knows the website, but no one knows the people and the stories behind this deeply Dutch company in U.S. hands. Until now. Three journalists from the major Dutch NRC newspaper present a detailed reconstruction of the dark internet fairy tale of Booking.com, from an idea built by a group of engineering students in Twente in the late 1990s to its development into the largest and most powerful hotel booking platform in world.
This is the never-before told story of Booking's rise, zenith and moral decay; of extravagant parties, runaway internet experiments, duped shareholders, manhandling managers and boardroom squabbles. Above all, it is the story of a company that built the supreme online money-making machine, but in the eternal quest for more, forgot the human beings behind it.
Merijn Rengers (1973) is onderzoeksjournalist en werkt sinds 2015 voor NRC. Eerder werkte hij twaalf jaar voor de Volkskrant. Hij won diverse journalistieke prijzen, waaronder twee keer de Tegel (voor verhalen over groene subsidies en diplomafraude).