Ask Jeeves steps up search competition with Excite deal

NEW YORK - The competition among search engines has stepped up once again with Ask Jeeves saying it is to buy Excite in a $343m deal.

Ask Jeeves is to pay $150m (£82.4m) in cash and the remainder in a stock and options issue for Interactive Search Holdings, the owner of Excite. Ask Jeeves said that the deal will double its market share and improve its ability to compete in the search market.

Google has dominated internet search engines for several years but as revenues from paid-for search terms become more lucrative, the friendly relationships between ISPs and Google are disappearing. Yahoo! has already launched its own search technology and MSN is in the process of developing its own.

Ask Jeeves and Excite were both at the forefront of search technology in the early days of the internet, but now lag behind Google and Yahoo!. Ask Jeeves had 650m searches in the last quarter of the year and Excite had 700m.

Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Ask Jeeves, said: "This acquisition will enable us to combine Ask Jeeves' proven strengths in user experience, search technology and brand development with Interactive Search Holdings' strengths in distribution and direct marketing. By leveraging these two complementary approaches to search, we expect to accelerate Ask Jeeves' market share gains in 2004 and beyond."

Ask Jeeves said that it was raising its outlook for the first quarter and now anticipates revenues of $37m instead of $35m because of stronger than anticipated traffic.

Shares in the company leapt by 40% on the day the deal was announced, to close at $29.08 on Nasdaq.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.

Topics

You have

[DAYS_LEFT] Days left

of your free trial

Subscribe now

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Share

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off Campaign's relaunch than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).