Yahoo announced today that it has agreed to purchase the European price comparison site Kelkoo SA for somewhere around 475 million euros ($575 million) in hard cash to expand its range of Internet commerce portals. Kelkoo, which allows users to compare prices for online purchases, has 27 million monthly European users, making it the continent’s third-largest e-commerce site.
According to a Rueters report, the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, helps Yahoo beef itself up in overseas markets to compete with Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp’s MSN unit in Web search technology.
This adds to the long line of acquistions that Yahoo has made over the past year or so to sure up its profit building advertising and commerce ventures, making Yahoo one of the most successful Search portals and stock investments available. Past successful acquisitions have included Overture Search Advertising and Inktomi Technologies.
“Commerce has emerged as a key component of search,” said Yahoo Chief Executive Terry Semel in a statement on Friday.
Kelkoo info from Rueters wire:
Kelkoo, which has been profitable for more than a year, has long been tipped by European bankers as a potential candidate for an initial public offering or a sale to a company such as Yahoo or Google.
Google, the No. 1 Internet search engine, has developed its own comparison shopping site Froogle, which is still at the testing stage. It was not immediately clear if Google’s plans to sell advertising on Kelkoo, revealed in January, would be affected.
Founded in France in 1999, Kelkoo has since merged with or acquired several companies in the United Kingdom, Spain, Norway and France. (Additional reporting by Bernhard Warner in London) ($1-.8263 Euro)
Looks like Yahoo is not stopping its advertising, commercial search steam roller and may be globally expanding its successful revenue building model which has worked extremely well in the US.