Industry News

Ask Jeeves revs up search business

Buys parent co. of Excite, My Way

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Internet search provider Ask Jeeves said Thursday it signed an agreement to buy a family of Web sites that includes My Way, Excite and iWon. The Emeryville, Calif.-based company is purchasing privately held Interactive Search Holdings, an online search and media company. The purchase is expected to double Ask Jeeves' market share and strengthen its position in the rapidly growing search market. The move may open up additional Web advertising opportunities in housing-related Web searches for real estate companies. Google and Yahoo! have been the two major players dominating Internet search. Under the terms of the agreement, Ask Jeeves will issue 9.3 million shares of common stock and options and pay $150 million in cash. This reflects a purchase price of $343 million based on Ask Jeeves' closing price on Wednesday. Ask Jeeves may pay up to an additional $17.5 million in cash based on various factors including Interactive Search Holdings' operating performance. "This acquisition wi...