Monday, May 15, 2006

Gannett acquires Planet Discover

Gannett announced today that it has acquired Planet Discover, a provider of local, integrated search and advertising technology. Planet Discover provides the search engine technology that powers several newspaper and tourism sites. They also provide a Cost per Click (CPC) advertising platform for websites. Rather than showing AdSense ads from Google, the website owner sells his own ads and has a direct relationship with the advertising client.

Rather than partner with Google, Yahoo!, Ask, or Microsoft, it's interesting how Gannett has chosen buy a search company and keep it in-house. While there is some benefit to owning your own search techonology and advertising base, it would seem that someone like Google would be able to provide much better quality search engine and more advertising revenue. By using a major ad platform like Google's AdWords, the Gannett websites would benefit from the auction based system where Google's very large advertising base bids up the advertising revenue. By using thier own advertising system, Gannett has to recruit all its own advertisers and hope they will sufficiently bid up the prices to reach Gannett's user base.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Terry Semel Speaks...

The Yahoo! CEO was recently interviewed by The New Yorker writer Ken Auletta, and they have posted the video on their website. It is an excellent wide-ranging interview about Yahoo!, the internet, and search. The video lasts one hour.

A few highlights:

Early on, Terry Semel had dinner with Larry Page and Sergey Page and made a informal offer to buy Google.

Semel gave "impartial" advice to Microsoft that they should not start a search engine.

Semel talks about the controversy in China where Yahoo! gave user information to the Chinese government.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Google's Buying Spree Continues

Google filed their first quarter 2006 10-Q yesterday. In Note 4 of the financial statements, they confirm that they closed on the dMarc Broadcasting acquisition. In addition they disclosed that they acquired four additional companies in the first quarter. They don't give any names though. This is in addition to the 15 companies they acquired in 2005. Any ideas?
During the three months ended March 31, 2006, we also acquired all of the voting interests of four other companies. One of these transactions was accounted for as a business combination. Because the remaining three transactions were with companies considered to be development stage enterprises, they were accounted for as asset purchases in accordance with EITF Issue No. 98-3,... The total purchase price of this business combination and these asset purchases was $79.2 million, which primarily consisted of cash payments of $75.7 million. In addition, we are obligated to make additional cash payments of up to $17.9 million if certain performance targets are met through March 2010.