updated 8/29/2008 8:15:10 AM ET 2008-08-29T12:15:10

Microsoft Corp. is buying a Munich, Germany-based Web comparison shopping site and its parent company for about $486 million in cash.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker says the acquisition of Greenfield Online Inc., which owns Ciao, a collection of European price-comparison, shopping and consumer reviews sites in seven countries and languages, will boost its search presence in Europe.

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

The company says the Ciao sites get more than 26 million unique visitors a month and so far has generated more than 5 million product reviews.

Greenfield shareholders will get $17.50 a share, Microsoft said Friday. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2008.

Microsoft lags market leader Google Inc. in search traffic and Web advertising revenue. In recent months, the company has focused on improving its sites for searches that lead to shopping and travel.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 5.03%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.68%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.87%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.42%
13.42%
Cash Back Cards 17.94%
17.94%
Rewards Cards 17.15%
17.15%
Source: Bankrate.com