Yahoo Sells Kelkoo To ex-uSwitch Team

Yahoo has confirmed that it has sold European price comparison website Kelkoo to private equity firm Jamplant ltd, made up by the team which helped launch another UK price comparison website.

Jamplant Ltd forked out less than 100 million Euros for the site, a fraction of the 450 million Euros that Yahoo handed back in March 2004.

The firm, which the Financial Times is reporting, was incorporated only last month, is said to be formed by former members of the management team behind uSwitch.

Pierre Chappaz, the founder of Kelkoo, confirmed the transaction and held no punches as he criticised the management of Yahoo for what he calls Yahoo's "cultural problem", the fact that the company does not fully understand "cost per click" and affiliation schemes, preferring instead to concentrate on traditional CPM advertising.

Chappaz, who went on to create Wikio, says that Kelkoo will rebound and introduce new innovations like Cashback schemes as well as a US version of Kelkoo. Microsoft

Most online comparison shopping websites have already been purchased by major online behemoth. Pricegrabber has been acquired by Experian in December 2005, Ebay snapped Shopping.com, Ciao went Microsoft's way and Google has launched its own Shopping section.

The sale highlights Yahoo's ambition to refocus on its core services as its shares price tumbled to less than $9 on Thursday and Friday.

However, the fate of price comparison websites may have been sealed by Google's new SearchWiki feature, where users could decide to remove sites like Ciao and Pricegrabber.com from their search engine results page, in a bid to remove noise.

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