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Altavista lays off 100

 2:46 pm on May 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


The company reported solid progress in the integration of its acquisitions - AltaVista and the Web search unit of FAST, continued development of an integrated product and technology platform for Web search, enhancements to its core paid search service, the development of a full-suite of search products for syndication to advertisers and distribution partners, and expansion of its international business.



 3:55 pm on May 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

100 Jobs = 7 Million Dollars, how much is that per job assuming they all got the same amount of pay. $70,000 a year. I always feel bad for companies when they merge because you know they will get the axe in one way or another.


 4:29 pm on May 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good thing they didn't fire R & D people, shows OV is serious about websearch development.
A cut in sales force is probably inevitable, since OV should have enough people in that field.


 4:31 pm on May 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is this the same thing?


 9:44 pm on May 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes it is.


 7:06 am on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

The only real value in aquisitions is cost reduction. I'm surprised it is only 100 jobs.....here's $1000 that says more will come in the future....any takers?


 8:22 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've always got the suspicion that overture purchased AV for it's name and portals and that it will eventually gut the infrastructure. Why else would Overture buy two search engine technologies?

Slow deaths are always sad to watch.


 8:24 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Slow deaths are always sad to watch.

You know, we're all waiting for Overture to fall flat on it's face, but i'm hoping (for some reason) that they prove us all wrong and come out with something really innovative.

(hey, guess i'm an optimist after all...)


 8:51 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

i'm hoping (for some reason) that they prove us all wrong

This reminds me of a time way back, when an innovative business called GoTo.com (which looked something like a search engine) decided to change their name to Overture - and work on their brand to position themselves clearly and cleanly as an advertising company, not a search engine.

Many were the doubters - myself included - of the wisdom of that name change, when they had already begun to build recognition as GoTo. But those smart little puppies had it right, didn't they?

And for all the worries about click fraud, they did put together a relatively solid and quite innovative set of defenses. They were clear that their core business proposition lived right here in the integrity of their charges, and they knew that they needed solid bedrock.

And when it came time to raise rates, they did it sensitively and built in a nice grandfather clause -- unlike some other companies who really stirred the waters in their attempts to increase income.

All in all, Overture has proven itself rather solid in a volatile field. Their attentive to their own bottom line and attentive to client satsifaction. They were the innovators, and they kept their eye on the ball. So I'm betting they've got a very savvy game plan, and I look forward to seeing it unfold.

Of course, no business plan is a guaranteed win, no matter how well put together. So time will tell. But I'm sure they didn't just go on a compulsive buying spree.


 5:11 am on May 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've always got the suspicion that overture purchased AV for it's name and portals and that it will eventually gut the infrastructure.

Add to those some search engine related patents which might have caught the fancy of Overture fellows.

Tricky Disco

 12:50 pm on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Really interesting discussion here folks.

Ok so we are all guestimating on the portential outcomes of the merger of 2 engines. I think a key aspect that should not be over-looked is the combined R&D functions that Overture have now acquired, and a product improvement roadmap as part of the contract with FAST.

If you look at the work that the new Chief Science Officer @ Overture was working on at NEC, with the combined R&D teams from acquistions, they could surprise us all.


 9:15 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

A little background on one of the players here.

Jim Barnett, former CEO of AltaVista and now heading up Overture's search efforts has been involved in a fair number of M&A transactions, with the accompanying "cost savings" (layoffs)

He sold ThirdAge.com to MyFamily.com, and before that he played the same games in the offline world.

He's more of a financial manager than a tech guy. How this bodes for Overture remains to be seen.

I hope for the best, but..............

Tricky Disco

 4:29 pm on May 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Gary Flake (Overture Chief Science Officer) is probably in the top ten when its comes to persons most influencial to search in the years to come.

I read papers & heard this guy speak - he really does understand the wider picture surrounding information retrieval. Since Tim Cudugen left for Yahoo (which made Wall Street move) I think Flake will harness the huge R&D setup he's just acquired.

Hopefully the huge stakes surrounding search will mean a much improved information retrieval moving forward (and one that my mum can understand not just advanced users.)

Sorry for any typo's - been a long day.

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