nicolas leroy

Microsoft acquires Ciao!

August 29, 2008

Microsoft announces today the acquisition of Greenfield Online, owner of Ciao!:

Microsoft Corp today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Greenfield Online Inc, owner of Ciao GmbH, one of Europe’s leading price comparison, shopping and consumer reviews sites, in a move that will further extend Microsoft’s search and e-commerce services in Europe. […] Ciao is a comprehensive source for intelligent shopping on the web, combining consumer reviews and ratings from a multimillion-user-strong online community with up-to-date price information from thousands of online merchants. It currently has more than 26.5 million unique visitors per month (source: comScore Inc, May 2008) across seven countries, who so far have generated more than 5 million product reviews.

The acquisition signals a further milestone investment for Microsoft in Europe and will see Microsoft increase its European commercial search capabilities as part of its intent to make Microsoft Live Search the premier destination for consumers looking to research and purchase goods and services online, as well as enable merchants to drive greater online sales.

Ciao’s technology platform, online community and extensive merchant relationships will be integrated within the Live Search platform to deliver a richer, more rewarding experience for both advertisers and consumers. […]

One more shopping platform for Microsoft – after MSN Shopping, Windows Live Search Products, Windows Live Search Cashback. However, the Windows Live line of shopping products is currently only available on the US market (even if Cashback has been announced in the UK).

Will Ciao! become the European version of Windows Live Search Products? Will it replace the US version and also MSN Shopping sites (Ciao! launched its US site earlier this year), and become the global shopping platform of Microsoft? Time will tell, but one thing for sure, Microsoft is more and more serious about online shopping…