RealTime IT News

PriceGrabber.com Grabbed by Experian

PriceGrabber.com has been bought by GUS Plc's Experian division for $485 million. The comparison-shopping site has been privately held since its creation in 1999.

All of PriceGrabber.com's management and employees, about 140 people, are expected to be retained.

After the acquisition is completed, PriceGrabber.com will operate under the Experian Interactive group subsidiary of GUS Plc, alongside other sites such as Affiliate Fuel, ClassesUSA.COM, Experian Consumer Direct and LowerMyBills.com. LowerMyBills.com itself was acquired earlier this year by GUS for $330 million.

PriceGrabber claims that in November it served more than 17 million unique visitors. Overall, the shopping comparison market according to statistics cited by Experian had a value of $400 million in 2004 and is projected to be on a 40 percent growth rate per year over the next five years.

The PriceGrabber acquisition is the third major comparison shopping search engine acquisition this year. Ebay acquired shopping.com in June for $625 million and Shopzilla was bought by Scripps for $525 million.

There are still a few other comparison shopping engine sites out there, that have not yet been acquired. One of them is smarter.com.

"I think this acquisition demonstrates the importance of search, and shopping search, in the online lead generation business." Talmadge O'Neill, cofounder of Smarter.com said. "By purchasing Pricegrabber, a leading comparison shopping search business, Experian adds the capabilities of lead generation for retailers."