February 25, 2003, 12:00 AM

Overture makes another acquisition: FAST`s web search business

Overture Services Inc. is extending its reach in the world of Internet search with the acquisition of the Internet search business of Fast Search & Transfer. Last week, Overture announced it is acquiring search engine AltaVista.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Overture Services Inc. is extending its reach in the world of Internet search with the acquisition of the Internet search business of Fast Search & Transfer. Last week, Overture announced it is acquiring search engine AltaVista. Overture will pay $70 million for FAST`s web search business as well as $30 million in incentives in performance-based cash incentives over three years. The deal is expected to close by April. FAST is remaining in the enterprise search business.

“Through this combination, Overture expects to be at the forefront of the industry in offering a full suite of paid placement, paid inclusion and algorithmic web search products and services for syndication to portals, ISPs and other search destination sites,” Overture said in making the announcement.

 

Overture started life as a web site that offered paid inclusion to retailing and other customers. The higher the fee, the higher they were ranked in search results.

“Search is in a rapid growth phase which we believe will continue for years to come," said Ted Meisel, Overture`s president and CEO. "Offering a broader, more complete range of products and services to our distribution network and advertisers will allow us to capitalize on that growth and build on the strong competitive advantages we already possess. Combining AltaVista and FAST`s web search business provides us with what we believe is the quickest and most cost effective path to market."

The acquisition includes FAST Web Search algorithmic search, AlltheWeb.com and FAST PartnerSite paid inclusion services. FAST, based in Oslo, Norway, also possesses advanced linguistics capabilities in almost 50 languages and has technology teams in multiple locations around the world. Overture believes that will help it extend its reach around the world.

The acquisitions of AltaVista and FAST will give Overture revenues of more than $1 billion this year, the company projects.

 

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