Overture Completes Web Search Unit Purchase

NEW YORK Overture, a provider of pay-for-performance search to Web sites, said it has completed its acquisition of the Internet business unit of Fast Search & Transfer.

In accordance with the terms of the deal as outlined in February, Pasadena, Calif.-based Overture paid $70 million in cash for the Oslo, Norway, company’s Web search technology assets, related intellectual property rights, personnel and data centers in Sacramento, Calif., and London [IQ Daily Briefing, Feb. 25]. The transaction also provides for up to $30 million over three years in performance-based cash incentives.

The acquisition, combined with Overture’s previously announced plan to purchase AltaVista, is meant to strengthen the company’s paid placement, paid inclusion and algorithmic Web search products and services for syndication to portals, ISPs and other search destination sites. Overture’s $140 million deal for AltaVista, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based Internet search company, is due to close before the end of April.

Separately, Overture said Tuesday that it has debuted its pay-for-performance search service in South Korea. At launch, Overture said it will reach 92 percent of South Korea’s 26 million Internet users. The company’s South Korean home base will be in Seoul, with a workforce of more than 40 staffers in the areas of marketing, sales, customer support and editorial operations.

Overture shares (OVER) were trading on the Nasdaq Tuesday at $15.93, down 12 cents or 0.75 percent. Its 52-week high is $35.59 and 52-week low is $11.62.