Microsoft is looking to enhance its Live Search offering with the $486 million acquisition
of Greenfield Online, the owner of European price comparison and shopping site Ciao. The deal marks Microsoft’s largest purchase since the demise of its $44 billion takeover bid for Yahoo earlier this year and is part of the company’s recent efforts to combine shopping and search.
Ciao provides consumer reviews and ratings along with prices from online merchants, and will be integrated with Microsoft's Live Search platform to deliver a “richer, more rewarding” experience for advertisers and consumers. Whether or not the acquisition will have a significant effect on Microsoft's search market share remains to be seen, but it’s interesting to see them shift their focus to the shopping and commercial search markets as they struggle to compete with Google in general purpose search.