Comparison Shopping Businesses in DemandSo what's with the interest in the comparison shopping search engine industry?
Corporations like Yahoo Inc., eBay Inc. and E. W. Scripps Co. since last year collectively spent about $1.6 billion buying Europe's Kelkoo, Shopping.com and Shopzilla, respectively. And now marketing services giant Experian buys PriceGrabber.com for $485 million in cash.
"I think the reason why there's such fascination for the comparison shopping search business is that we operate in the sweet spot area - commercial search," said Harry Tsao, cofounder of Monrovia, CA-based Smarter.com and one of the few independent comparison-shopping services left.
Experian's Dec. 12 acquisition of PriceGrabber.com is part of its goal to become a go-to provider of online customer acquisition services. It also gives Experian access to an online database of products, services and retailers that PriceGrabber.com visitors can compare prior to a transaction.
PriceGrabber.com now is a part of Experian Interactive, whose components include other online marketing services like LowerMyBills.com, MetaRewards, Affiliate Fuel, ClassesUSA.com and Experian Consumer Direct.