Search Companies Buy New Technologies

 
 
By Dennis Callaghan  |  Posted 2003-02-19
 
 
 
Two Web search companies have announced acquisitions this week with Google Inc. buying Weblog software developer Pyra Labs and Overture Services Inc. acquiring search vendor AltaVista Co.

Pyra Labs, a six-person San Francisco-based startup, develops the popular Blogger personal Web publishing tool. Terms of Googles acquisition of Pyra were not disclosed. Both companies are privately held.

The acquisition gives Google, of Mountain View, Calif., another content source. The company bought Deja.com two years ago and recently started its own news site. Google also sells an enterprise search appliance so the acquisition could allow it to move into the growing enterprise Weblog software space, though company officials have given little indication of Googles plans just yet.

Google spokesman Nathan Tyler said a move by the company into the enterprise Weblog space was an "interesting concept," but its still "too early to tell" what Googles plans are in that area.

Separately, Overture, which competes with Google to provide paid search services at portal and content sites, is buying AltaVista for $140 million in cash and stock.

Pasadena, Calif.-based Overture plans to incorporate AltaVistas advanced search algorithms in its own service, Overture officials said. AltaVista owns 58 patents for search technology. Overture officials said they also plan to test new technologies at the AltaVista.com search site and enhance AltaVistas paid search services.

The deal is expected to close by April. CMGI Inc., of Andover, Mass., is the majority owner of AltaVista, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif.

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