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
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.”