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Microsoft to Acquire European Price Comparison and Shopping Site

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Microsoft has reached an agreement to acquire Greenfield Online, the owner of Ciao, a European price comparison and shopping site. This seems to be in line with Microsoft's strategy of focusing on building up focused areas of search.

Ciao also includes consumer reviews and ratings with its search results. They boast a multimillion-user-strong online community and see more than 26.5 million unique visitors per month across seven countries. So far, more than 5 million product reviews have been generated.

Ciao joins Farecast, FAST, and Powerset in Microsoft's portfolio of search-related acquisitions for 2008.

“Ciao's success has been led by a team of talented people who took a unique combination of intuitive technology and the insight that comes out of their passionate consumer community to become one of Europe's leading shopping comparison sites,” said John Mangelaars, vice president, Consumer and Online, Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa. “This makes the company a fantastic asset to the future of our search offer. Integrating Ciao's capabilities into Live Search will provide a strong launchpad for our commercial search offer in Europe and enhance our e-commerce offering on MSN.”

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