How far will Microsoft go, in their bid to increase the market share of their search engine Bing?
The latest rumour making the rounds is that Microsoft may buy Ask.com, which has been up for sale for a long time now. Barry Diller, the Chairman of InterActive Corp, the parent company of Ask.com, has said that the search market is challenging, and he would be quite willing to part with his search engine (In exchange, for appropriate remuneration, of course.)
Under the circumstances, Microsoft would seem to be the most likely to buy over the company.
Although Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing, is doing quite well for itself, especially after announcing various deals with Twitter, Facebook and Yahoo!, it is still a distant third in the search engine market, with only about 9.4% market share in the USA.
Ask.com, which is ranked 4th in the search market, holds about 4% of the market share, which would help Bing gain a better foothold in the market. Also, this deal could interest Microsoft, as Ask.com earns most of its revenue from an advertising deal they have with Google.
Microsoft would also not have to deal with any regulatory concerns, as they still have a very small percent of the total market share even after their deal with Yahoo! is factored in.
Lastly, Microsoft would certainly have the resources to takeover Ask.com if they are so inclined.
With 64.9% of the U.S. market share and over 85% of the European search market still securely tucked under its belt, Google can still rest easy.