The move strengthens its e-commerce business in Europe – by using shopping comparison to add value to its Live Search platform.
Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire the parent company of popular shopping comparison website Ciao.
The firm will pay $486 million (£268.9 million) for Greenfield Online, which had previously entered into a merger agreement with affiliates of Quadrangle Group – a deal that has now been called off.
According to Microsoft, the acquisition of Ciao will significantly boost its search and e-commerce businesses in Europe. It could also have implications for those who already benefit from website promotion through the comparison engine.
The company has already entered into an agreement to sell Greenfield’s internet survey solutions businesses to an unnamed financial buyer.
Tami Reller, corporate vice-president and chief financial officer for Windows and online services at Microsoft, remarked: “The team at Ciao has built a passionate consumer community based on intuitive technology and extensive merchant relationships that we believe will deliver incremental benefit to the Microsoft Live Search platform.”
Earlier this year, Microsoft launched the Live Search cashback scheme, which offers advertising-funded cash rebates to consumers who make purchases through Live Search with one of the program’s partners.
The scheme was extended to buy-it-now products on auction site eBay in June.