Search engine Ask Jeeves
announced Friday it has
purchased Excite Italia, the operator of Excite Europe, from Tiscali.
The company, which agreed to be acquired by Barry Dillers’s
IAC/InterActivCorp back in March for 2006 $1.85 billion
in stock, says the acquisition of Excite Europe will extend Ask
Jeeves’ ownership of the Excite brand beyond the United States.
Ask Jeeves acquired Excite.com in March 2004, while ISP giant Tiscali
acquired Excite Europe in April 2002.
“This deal is a next step in Ask Jeeves’ European expansion strategy,”
Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Ask Jeeves, said in a statement. “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.”
The European landscape for the Excite business, a network of pan-European
portal properties, includes Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the
United Kingdom and the Netherlands, according to the company. The
acquisition of Excite Europe will give Ask Jeeves ownership of Excite’s
Internet domains in each of these countries.
It will also provide immediate access to a wealth of resources in the
European portal market in
company said. Ask Jeeves will have the ability to extend its leading
search technology to Excite Europe users.
Ask Jeeves said it doesn’t expect the acquisition to materially impact
2005 revenue or earnings per share, does not expect the acquisition to
affect Ask Jeeves’ financial guidance as issued with its first-quarter
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Excite has offered search and Web portal services since 1995 and will
remain a separate brand under Ask Jeeves.
It was a busy day for Ask Jeeves, as the company also announced an
agreement with InfoSpace, a leader in private-label search, online directory
and mobile entertainment and information, to mutually support the search and
portal functions at Excite.com.
The agreement is part of a settlement of litigation involving the site.
Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will share marketing costs and
revenue from the Excite.com Web search function.
“We are pleased to be working with Ask Jeeves to promote search on
Excite. Leveraging the strengths of the portal and the search box makes
sense for both companies and will allow us to grow traffic and revenues,”
Jim Voelker, chairman and CEO of InfoSpace, said.