FindWhat.com buys Comet

Stefanie Olsen Staff writer, CNET News
Stefanie Olsen covers technology and science.
Stefanie Olsen

FindWhat.com, a provider of advertising-related search results, said Tuesday that it bought software company Comet Systems for about $33.5 million in cash and stock. Through the deal, Ft. Myers, Fla.-based FindWhat buys an array of consumer desktop software applications, giving the company greater distribution for its sponsored search-related ads. New York City-based Comet offers the Comet Cursor, an application for tailoring cursors that was the subject of privacy concerns during the Internet boom. It also offers software to block advertising and protect privacy, and a desktop search application that displays the commercial search results of FindWhat rival Overture Services.

Under terms of the deal, which is expected to close in two months, Comet stockholders will receive about $8.5 million in cash, $15 million in FindWhat.com stock, and up to another $10 million in cash based on Comet's operating performance in the next two years. Comet, which employs about 30 people, will become a unit of FindWhat.com, co-managed by company founders Tom Schmitter and Jamie Rosen.