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Bertelsmann Sells Evenbetter.com to DealTime

German media giant Bertelsmann AG will sell its Internet comparison shopping unit Evenbetter.com to U.S.-based DealTime, also a comparison-shopping service, and will form a joint venture with DealTime in Europe in a transaction valued at about $100 million.

As part of the agreement, Bertelsmann will also take a stake in DealTime 's parent company, DealTime Ltd. and will invest in DealTime's subsidiary, DealTime Europe, in return for a 49 percent stake in the unit.

DealTime Europe and evenbetter.com both currently operate comparison-shopping Web sites in Germany and the UK, and plan to launch in France and Italy later this year.

"What attracted us to DealTime was the broad scope of product categories they search, their leadership position in the U.S., and their superior scaleable technology, which is complementary to evenbetter," said Klaus Eierhoff, chief executive officer of Bertelsmann Multimedia and board member of Bertelsmann AG.

"Looking at the e-commerce landscape, we saw DealTime as the overall leader in comparison shopping and evenbetter as the niche leader within the books, music and movies categories. We think this combined entity will be best suited to capitalize on the potential for e-commerce in Europe "

Evenbetter.com, a majority-owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann, now searches three major categories -- books, movies and music -- and received 475,000 unique users in April. DealTime reported 3.8 million unique users in April.

"Marrying DealTime with Bertelsmann's significant media assets worldwide and evenbetter's comparison-shopping expertise in books, music and movies, enhances our position as the ultimate buyer's gateway on the Web," said Dan Ciporin, president and chief executive officer of DealTime.

Under the new agreement, evenbetter users will be redirected to the corresponding DealTime sites, offering shoppers access to both DealTime's and evenbetter's combined categories.

DealTime will also now offer its users evenbetter's downloadable browser companion, evenbetter Express. The evenbetter headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany will become the new headquarters of the joint venture in Europe.