Google March 7 said it has purchased BeatThatQuote.com, an online price comparison Website based in the United Kingdom, for $61.2 million.
The buy, which comes amid reports that Google is ramping up for large and small acquisitions this year, will give Google access to technology that helps consumers search for lower rates on services for personal finance, insurance, legal services and other markets.
BeatThatQuote.com helps users search for anything from personal loans to credit cards, insurance for cars and homes, and consumer products; compare them to rival products; and purchase them from the service or product provider online.
"We have acquired BeatThatQuote.com and are excited about working with their team," a Google spokesperson told eWEEK. "With their expertise and our technology, we will be able to provide new and innovative ways for consumers to find the right financial products and save money."
BeatThatQuote.com Managing Director John Paleomylites wrote in a note on the company's homepage that his company with Google's support and scale be able to create new personal finance options in the U.K.
"We look forward to working with their engineers to create new tools making it easier for consumers to choose the right financial products," said Paleomylites. "We think we can offer more transparency and better pricing information than existing online offerings."
He also said the company will continue to work with its current partners.
Google will likely integrate BeatThatQuote.com's price comparison engine into its own Google.com search portal, providing consumers with ways to search for the best-priced financial services.
This isn't the first time Google has offered price comparisons for financial services. The company in 2009 began offering comparison ads for homes, credit cards, mortgages and other personal finance areas.
In BeatThatQuote.com, Google has acquired the breed of vertical search engine that has complained to the European Commission that Google pushes down its results in search pages in favor of its own.
Foundem, Microsoft's Ciao and eJustice.fr all filed complaints with the commission, which is scrutinizing Google's search and ad practices overseas. Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbott is investigating similar claims in the United States.
Google has also tried hard to buy ITA Software to create its own fight comparison engine. The Department of Justice, spurred by Expedia and others in the travel search sector, is investigating whether or not the purchase would be anti-competitive.