Ask Jeeves Buys Excite Europe
Ask Jeeves has acquired Excite Europe from Tiscali for EUR 6.1 millions (an apparent pittance). In March of last year, Ask Jeeves bought Excite.com in the U.S.
Also today, Ask Jeeves and InfoSpace announced they had settled litigation associated with the earlier U.S. Excite acquisition and that they would jointly support the portal and share marketing costs and revenues.
Regarding the European acquisition, Ask Jeeves’ CEO Steve Berkowitz released at statement, saying, “This deal is a next step in Ask Jeeves’ European expansion strategy. 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.”
Excite Europe has a presence in all the major European markets: Spain, Italy, France, U.K., Germany and also in Austria and the Netherlands. Ask Jeeves has said it will preserve the Excite brand.
When I was in London last summer, Ask was mulling its European expansion strategy and believed that, while the Jeeves brand was strong in the U.K., it would not necessarily “translate” in other countries such as Spain (where the Jeeves character was perceived as “a gay bulter”).
This seems to answer that question/problem.
Greg Sterling is managing editor of The Kelsey Group. He also leads The Kelsey Group’s the Interactive Local Media program, focusing on local search. Greg came to The Kelsey Group from TechTV’s “Working the Web,” the first national television show dedicated to e-business and the Internet.