Microsoft has made a cash offer of $486 million for a Connecticut company, Greenfield Online, that will help it move forward in online search, e-commerce and the European market. And it'll likely end up costing much less than that initial price tag, as Redmond plans to sell off Greenfield's online survey operations, roughly half of the deal.
What it's after today is Greenfield's Ciao.com property, an online e-commerce and social networking site based in Germany and frequented mostly by European customers. Forbes puts the site traffic at 26 million unique visitors a month -- and that's the real acquisition target here. Microsoft execs say the property's strong relationship with both merchants who advertise and consumers who interact with each other and shop on the portal site will complement the Live Search platform, says internetnews.com.
The internetnews.com piece puts Microsoft's search market share in Europe at 2 percent, as opposed to 9 percent in the U.S.