Ask Jeeves buys Excite's European operations in €6.1m deal

LONDON - Tiscali has sold the European operations of Excite to Ask Jeeves, in a deal reported to be worth €6.1m (£4.2m).

It follows on from Ask Jeeves' acquisition of Excite.com, the US portal, last March, for which it paid $343m (£187m) in total. Ask Jeeves is itself on the verge of being acquired in a $1.85bn deal by Barry Diller's IAC/Interactive, owner of Expedia and Hotels.com.

Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Ask Jeeves, said: "Access to Excite's pan-European operational infrastructure and market knowledge will accelerate our European growth initiative and provide an instant revenue stream from additional users and advertisers."

Ask Jeeves said that Excite, which was established in 1995, would remain a separate brand and continue to operate from its headquarters in Rome.

The deal will give it ownership of domains throughout Europe as well as control of existing portals in markets including Spain, Italy, France, UK, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

It will give Ask Jeeves a bigger European presence by providing new users, operations, market knowledge and revenue streams. Ask Jeeves will also have the ability to extend its search technology to Excite Europe users.

The sale by Tiscali is part of moves by the Italian telecoms giant to focus its attentions on the Tiscali brand and portal. In the UK, Tiscali is escalating its media spend as it promotes its broadband service.

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