Microsoft sells off Ciao shopping site

Microsoft is selling off a web site that it originally paid nealy half a billion dollars to acquire three years ago. TechCrunch reports that Microsoft has now sold the shopping and product review web site portal Ciao to the European web site LeGuide.com. Financial details of this new transaction were not revealed, although Leguide.com did say it paid for Ciao with cash.

Microsoft originally paid a whopping $486 million to acquire Ciao back in 2008. The site itself was founded back in 1998 and serves several European countries (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands and Sweden). Ciao offers up price comparisons and reviews for millions of products and reportedly has 20.8 million unique visitors. Microsoft purchased the site from Greenfield Online, who bought the site from its founders back in 2005.

LeGuide.com, based in France, also runs its own price comparison and product review sites that cover 14 European countries. This new deal sounds like it is perfect for the owners of LeGuide.com to expand its own shopping portal empire. It also gives Microsoft a way out of an online service that it perhaps no longer feels like it needs to be a part of anymore.

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I like the way there's mention that Ciao's traffic has fallen by 90%+ in the past few months, that's why they wanna offload it...