9/05/08

Microsoft to buy Ciao comparison shopping site for $486 million

Microsoft has agreed to pay about $486 million in cash for Greenfield Online Inc., owner of Ciao, a European shopping comparison site. Microsoft says it will integrate Ciao with Microsoft Live Search to build a better Internet search engine.

Katie Evans , Managing Editor, International Research

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to pay about $486 million in cash, or $17.50 per share, for Greenfield Online Inc., owner of Ciao, a European shopping comparison site. Microsoft says it will integrate Ciao with Microsoft Live Search to build a better Internet search engine.

The Ciao platform offers consumer reviews and ratings and updated price comparison information relating to thousands of online merchants. Ciao , receives more than 26.5 million unique visitors per month, according to comScore Inc.

Earlier this year, Greenfield launched a U.S. version of Ciao. “Integrating Ciao’s capabilities into Live Search will provide a strong launchpad for our commercial search offer in Europe and enhance our e-commerce offering on MSN,” says John Mangelaars, Microsoft’s vice president, consumer and online, for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. MSN is Microsoft’s online portal for online shopping, news and other content.

Once the acquisition closes, the Ciao business will report to Rajat Taneja, Microsoft’s general manager, Worldwide Commercial Search.

In a related transaction, Microsoft says it has secured a buyer for Greenfield’s Internet survey applications. Both the acquisition of Greenfield and the sale of the survey business are expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, Microsoft says.

Topics:

Bing, Ciao, Communication, Internet search engines, MSN

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