September 6, 2008

Microsoft buy

Now finally the Microsoft has agreed to buy Greenfield Online, owner of popular European price comparison website, for about $486 mn to boost its Internet search and e-commerce business in Europe.As all we know earlier this year Microsoft failed to buy Yahoo after a log battle.After purchasing it is believed that it should help it build a more consumer-friendly, results-oriented search engine.As all we know that Internet search is dominated by Google, which has 62 per cent of the global search market and 79 percent in Europe.

Microsoft has a 2 percent market share in Europe and 9 per cent worldwide, behind both Google and Yahoo.Buying was an important step in Microsoft's attempt to distinguish itself by providing search results more useful to consumers, particularly shoppers, than those thrown up by a Google is active in seven European countries and attracts 19.6 mn unique visitors per month in Europe, more than twice as many as rival, according to ComScore, thanks to its large network of members who contribute product reviews.To attract more users, Microsoft also plans to reward consumers who buy products through its shopping sites by giving them cash back, extending a trial started in the United States a few months ago.

Microsoft's offer of $17.50 per share betters an earlier proposal by media-focused US buyout firm Quadrangle Group to acquire the company for $15.50 a share, and represents a slight premium to Greenfield's closing price of $17.25 on Thursday.On August 26, Greenfield had said it had received a $17.50 per share offer but did not reveal from whom.The latest offer represents a premium of about 10 percent over Greenfield's closing share price on August 25.Microsoft said it had agreed to sell Greenfield's main business, which surveys consumer opinion online and sells the results to market researchers, to an unnamed financial buyer.The companies expect both deals to close during the fourth quarter of 2008. Completion of the Greenfield sale to Microsoft does not depend on Microsoft's disposal of the online survey business, the two companies said.This deal really help Microsoft in competing with google.

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