Positions Itself as All-Inclusive Search Provider
(PFP) search provider Overture Services Inc. is on an acquisition tear
aimed at transforming it into a full-service player in the online search
space. Last week, Overture announced it will acquire search engine AltaVista
Co. for US$140 million. In a follow-up move this week, Overture announced
it will acquire the Web search unit of Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) for
US$70 million. The two deals are expected to close in April.
Overture has built
up a strong base of national advertisers through its paid listing service,
but in order to secure future deals, the company realized that adding
a general search component is necessary to compete with rivals like Google.
Overture will use
AltaVista and FAST as test beds for new ideas to help further Overture's
core business of providing pay-for-performance listings (e.g., enhancing
AltaVista's paid inclusion model). These deals also provide the ability
to use the acquired search technology to offer enhanced search solutions
to portals, destination sites and ISPs. These acquisitions not only put
Overture on the path toward more partnerships, but also in a position
to become a destination site and traffic aggregator. Overture denies,
however, that it has designs on the latter.