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Ask Jeeves extends Excite deal

The search company acquires Excite's European operations, including portals throughout the Continent and in the UK.

Ask Jeeves on Friday said it will acquire the European operations of the Excite.com portal, whose operations in the United States it purchased last year.

The takeover of Excite Europe will give Ask Jeeves ownership of Excite's Internet domains throughout Europe as well as existing portals in markets such as Spain, Italy, France, the U.K., Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, the company said. The search technology of Ask Jeeves also will be extended to users of Excite Europe.

Ask Jeeves acquired the U.S.-operated Excite.com in March of last year.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Ask Jeeves said it doesn't expect any impact on its revenues or earnings per share in 2005. The financial guidance issued along with the company's first-quarter earnings announcement in April also remains unchanged, the company said.

InterActiveCorp recently announced a deal to purchase Ask Jeeves for $1.85 billion. The portal has been adding new features and services to its search offering through new deals and acquisitions, in a bid to keep pace with its search rivals, Google and Yahoo.

The company said Excite Italia will retain its brand identity in Europe and continue to operate out of Excite Europe's headquarters in Rome.

Separately, Ask Jeeves announced a deal with InfoSpace, a firm specializing in private-label search. Under this agreement, the two companies will support each other's search and portal functions at Excite.com. The two also will share marketing costs and revenue from Web-search functions at Excite.com. The agreement is part of a settlement of litigation involving the site.