Microsoft bought Greenfield Online for $486 million. This firm is the owner of Ciao, one of the leading price-comparison and shopping sites in Europe.
Greenfield's properties include Munich, Germany-based Ciao, one of the leading price-comparison and online-shopping sites in Europe. Ultimately, Microsoft said, Ciao's technology platform, online community, and merchant relationships will be integrated with Microsoft's Live Search.
Ciao features consumer reviews and ratings. Microsoft said that, according to ComScore, Ciao has more than 26.5 million unique visitors per month across seven countries, who have generated more than 5 million product reviews.
The deal calls for Microsoft to commence a cash tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Greenfield for $17.50 per share, or roughly $486 million.
Wilton, Conn.-based Greenfield, which acquired Ciao in 2005, also owns an Internet survey business, which Microsoft plans to sell off. Microsoft said it has already secured an unnamed buyer for that unit.