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British retailer buys PriceGrabber.com $485 million

Will add to the Experian credit checking unit

10:18 am on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Blog rumors turned out to be true.

California-based PriceGrabber.com compared prices of products such as computers and clothing for more than 17 million users last month, GUS said. The business connects users to more than 9,000 online retailers, who pay each time they get a lead.

Details are skimpy at the time of this post but an overview is here: Bloomberg [bloomberg.com]

4:09 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yet another shopping comparison acquisition with a rather hefty price tag. I guess it was only a matter of time. I wonder will they really see the return on this kind of purchase however.

Course they're buying the actual user base and the network they have built up and not the actual engine I would assume.

5:18 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Technically Experian bought them, which to me is very interesting. A company that knows your credit who owns large offline retailer and now an online retail aggregator.

Sure is a good way to know alot about its customers.

Note: *I compete with Experian in a way*

7:05 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

nice post!
7:20 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Pricegrabber is a pretty inspirational story. Launched by two brothers in 1999 who bootstrapped the company, and built it without taking VC money.

They survived the dot com crash because they built a superior, useful product. This was no "built to flip" play - these guys worked very hard to build a real business.

They also happen to be some of the nicer, humbler guys in the industry - congrats to all involved!

7:27 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Nice dig thaedge. Experian is going to be a huge competitor in the online advertising space before long. Do some digging to see what other companies they have purchased recently and you'll see what I mean. A bunch of them, including affiliate network primaryads etc. etc.
8:51 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Very interesting. Experian's corporate homepage links to http://experian.global-pressoffice.com/documents/showdoc.cfm?doc=1998 (press release) with more information.

[edited by: lorax at 1:39 pm (utc) on Dec. 15, 2005]
[edit reason] delinked [/edit]

10:12 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I use pricegrabber-it's a good service. In my opinion, it's also a good time to sell. Most referrals come from users finding the comparison listings in organic serps. I can imagine google cracking down on this type of duplicate listing in the future. MSN shopping is currently powered by pricegrabber-but so was their search not too long ago. They may opt to build their own, and Yahoo already has.

Could be wrong on how it will shake out, but I do know that search engines generally frown on duplicate listings.

11:50 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Last I heard was speculation that GUS was building out Experian to spin it off. Experian was TRW Information Services.

It was bought by Bain Capital and Thomas Lee VCs in 1996 for about 1B. Couple of years later they sold it to GUS for something around 2 plus billion.

8:37 pm on Dec 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

$28.5 a user from the nos. 1 see quoted... abit above the industry average of $20...probably to save time