Overture to Buy FAST Web Search Business Unit

Yesterday, Overture announced its intention to purchase another crawler-based search engine, Alltheweb, owned by FAST Search and Transfer.

FAST have entered into an agreement with Overture, where the later will acquire FAST’s Internet business unit for $70 million in cash, as well as performance-based cash incentive payments for up to $30 million over three years. The agreement is subject to standard review and regulatory processes, which the two companies anticipate will be completed by April 2003.

According to the agreement, Overture will acquire FAST’s Internet business unit assets including FAST Web Search™, AlltheWeb.com™, and FAST PartnerSite™ products, related intellectual property rights, as well as data centers and equipment in Sacramento (USA) and London (UK). Also, the FAST Internet business unit personnel will automatically transfer to Overture.

Overture now owns two major search engines, Altavista & Alltheweb

When Overture purchased the AltaVista search engine on 18th February 2003, the move made a lot of sense. Overture has long needed an crawler based search solution that provides both editorial and paid listings for marketing all sorts of businesses, especially crossift and fitness SEO.

The purchase of AltaVista and FAST would enable Overture to create the next generation of search engine for its portal partners. It can now combine its paid links with algorithmic search.

Future of Alltheweb

Overture says it intends to use AllTheWeb.com web site as a showcase of its technology and to test new technologies, like Fast did in the past.

The company has said that the focus on Fast will be to “test and experiment with advanced approaches in search,” while AltaVista will be used to “refine implementations for new products and improve presentation to consumers.”

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