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Inktomi Splurges on Shopping Software

In a bid to add an e-commerce solution to its product line, search engine software provider Inktomi Corp. today said it is acquiring C2B Technologies Inc., an online comparison shopping software provider.

In an acquisition valued at $90 million, Inktomi said it will incorporate its scalable search engine technologies with C2B software to furnish Internet sites with a private-label shopping product featuring advanced shopping capabilities. The company said an initial version of the new solution is slated for release early next year.

C2B's comparison shopping software will represent Inktomi's third product line, the company said. Its search engine service, used by portals such as Yahoo! Snap! and HotBot, comprises another line of business, while Inktomi's Traffic Server network caching technology, used by AOL, Digex and the @Home Network, represent its other business.

Terms of the purchase call for Inktomi to acquire 100% of C2B Technologies' outstanding stock in exchange for roughly 1.8 million shares of Inktomi common stock. The company said it will also assume all outstanding options and warrants of C2B Technologies. Inktomi will account for the transaction as a pooling of interest and expects to close the acquisition within the quarter subject to customary closing conditions.

San Mateo, CA-based C2B's shopping product allows users to compare products by price, industry commentary, user reviews and other criteria. Over 170 merchants with 460,000 products in 12 categories are featured in the shopping software.

Products include computer hardware and software, books and music. C2B's partners include CNN/fn, Mastercard, Consumer's Digest and WhoWhere/AngelFire. C2B Technologies will operate under Inktomi's name and its founders will join the company.

"Inktomi's mission is to be the leading provider of Internet infrastructure software," said David Peterschmidt, president and CEO of Inktomi. "The acquisition leverages our core competencies, extends our market reach and demonstrates our commitment to continue providing customers with solutions for their critical infrastructure needs."

In a similar move in the e-commerce space last month, Amazon.com acquired Junglee Corp., a provider of Web-based virtual database technology designed to simplify online shopping.



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