Yahoo! have completed a deal to buy internet comparison shopping portal Kelkoo for €475 million (~US$575, ~UK£320), as part of a strategy to expand their services in Europe. Yahoo! will buy up all of the Kelkoo’s share capital for cash, and is expected to keep all 250 Kelkoo staff, making the company a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Kelkoo allows users to search across 2500 internet shops for 3 million products and compare prices for the best deal. The service has been profitable since 2002, and makes its money by charging merchants for referrals. The site was founded in France in 1999 and has merged and acquired similar services across Europe ever since.
“Commerce has emerged as a key component of search, and the combination of Web search, product search and comparison shopping will help further Yahoo!’s goal to create the most comprehensive and best user experience on the Web globally,” said Terry Semel, chairman and chief executive officer, Yahoo! Inc. “Kelkoo will add depth and breadth to Yahoo!’s integrated network of services for consumers, and adds another set of powerful tools for marketers seeking to reach them.”
Kelkoo is currently operational in nine European states, reaches some 10% of internet users there, and claims to be the largest e-commerce service operating out of Europe.