If you’re an OpenTable member, you probably received a mass email from OpenTable CEO Matt Roberts like the one I received above.

Travel giant Priceline on Friday said it would buy OpenTable, the popular restaurant booking and review tool that restaurants – and consumers – increasingly rely on. The tool connects consumers with more than 31,000 restaurants worldwide.

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“OpenTable will continue to operate as an independent brand focused on providing you with great dining experiences,” Roberts wrote in the email to OpenTable fans. :Everything you love about OpenTable will stay the way you like it: free, easy-to-use and constantly improving.”

Recently, OpenTable rolled out a new system on its mobile app that lets diners pay for their meal without asking for the check, he noted. The rollout will continue.

By the way, the New York Times reports that Priceline paid $2.6 billion – with a “b” – for the company. It marks the biggest deal ever for Priceline, which last year bought Kayak for $1.8 billion, the article says.

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