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DealTime plans to acquire Epinions

The shopping search engine's move to buy the consumer reviews and ratings tech company marks further consolidation in the search industry.

Online shopping search engine DealTime announced plans Wednesday to acquire online consumer reviews and ranking company Epinions.

The deal, expected to close within six weeks, will enhance DealTime's search and shopping tools with consumer reviews and ratings. It also marks the latest merger and acquisition activity in the search industry.

Last month, Overture Services, a Web advertising company, announced intentions to buy search pioneer AltaVista for $140 million. Overture also struck a deal to buy the Web search assets of Fast Search & Transfer for up to $100 million. And in December, Yahoo said it plans to acquire search software maker Inktomi, a deal valued at $235 million.

Terms of the DealTime agreement were not disclosed. But the company noted it intends to integrate Epinions' consumer reviews and ratings across its network, which includes, and

Nirav Tolia, Epinions co-founder and chief executive, will join DealTime as chief operating officer. And two of its directors, Bill Gurley with Benchmark Capital and John Johnston of August Capital, will join the merged company's board of directors.