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MySimon to launch pricing site

With its online comparison-shopping service, the intelligent agent firm enters a field virtually cleared out by acquisitions.

Entering a field virtually cleared out by acquisitions, intelligent agent firm MySimon is launching a service that allows sites to automate the process of comparing product pricing online.

The e-commerce start-up is hoping to partner and cobrand its service with portals and other sites.

So far it has been a seller's market for automated comparison shopping technology. A number of companies in the space have found themselves snapped up by larger firms.

A year ago this month, for example, Excite announced that it would acquire NetBot and its Jango technology. In August, said it would buy Junglee. And in September, Inktomi announced its purchase of C2B Technologies.

That buying spree has left a clear field for MySimon to craft partnerships with commerce and portal sites, analysts said.

"The market is certainly there," said Aberdeen Group analyst Mark Peabody. "The whole price-comparison shopping space is very attractive to the user. Cobranding with major portal sites and specialty portal sites is an interesting model. Portals can now look at heading out into a market that doesn't force you to get in bed with an Amazon."