Microsoft has agreed to acquire Greenfield Online, an online survey firm and comparison shopping provider for $17.50 per share, or $486 million.
Although better known for its survey business, Greenfield operates Ciao.com, one of the more popular price comparison and consumer review sites in Europe. Ciao.com currently has more than 26.5 million unique visitors per month across seven countries, who have generated more than 5 million product reviews.
In an interesting twist, Microsoft has already secured a buyer for Greenfield Online's Internet survey solutions, a business unit that delivers 75% of Greenfield's revenue, apparently being only interested in the shopping side of the business.
For Microsoft, the deal is the first major acquisition post Yahoo rejection, and indicates a willingness to buy share and reach in an online space that it has struggled to succeed in.
The deal is set to close in the fourth quarter.