Microsoft Buys European Comparison Shopping Site for $486M

Microsoft has agreed to buy comparison shopping business Ciao in a deal worth around US$486 million, and plans to integrate the service into its Live Search sites, it announced Friday.

The deal is a sign that Microsoft's commercial search ambitions extend to Europe, where Ciao is present in seven countries. Microsoft launched a comparison shopping and search reward site, Live Search cashback, for U.S. surfers in May this year. The company said it expects to use Ciao to boost its MSN e-commerce services, in addition to incorporating Ciao's services into its Live Search sites.

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