Diller to buy Jeeves says New York Times

Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp is set to buy Ask Jeeves, the 4th largest search engine company (5th according to the WSJ lead) for $1.9 billion (Reuters confirms it’s $1.85 billion) in stock writes the New York Times.

Ask purchased Bloglines, the web-based RSS aggregator, last month. 70% of Ask’s revenues come from advertising served by Google so we might see this change as search results drive traffic to network commerce sites owned by IAC such as Expedia, Ticketmaster, Home Shopping Network, Match.com and CitySearch.

No word on the TypePad-powered Ask Jeeves blog at this time.

UPDATE: In a Reuters recap of a conference call, Diller is quoted as saying, “Global search is the gateway to everything.” Sounds like we’re heading back to the portal days of old and that search engines are once again the core to any portal. How many months before people start talking again about search engine lock-in and adding hooks to make a search engine more than just another bookmark?

Still no word from the Ask Jeeves blog or ask.com.

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