Inktomi Makes Impulse Buy

Inktomi (Nasdaq: INKT), which develops software to power search engines and e-commerce sites, made another key move this week to expand its presence in the online shopping arena. On Thursday, the company announced that it has signed a deal to purchase 100 percent of Impulse! Buy Network, which develops online merchandising software, in exchange for 900,000 shares of stock.

Shares of Inktomi closed down 1-1/2 to 124 on Thursday after the news. At that stock price, the deal would be worth nearly $112 million (US$).

“Getting shoppers to push the ‘Buy’ button will require a range of robust product promotion and merchandising tools,” said David Peterschmidt, president and chief executive officer of Inktomi.

Impulse! Buy software is used by more than 80 merchants including Wal-Mart, Lands’ End and K-Tel. The software allows companies to promote their products online with special offers like limited-time deals.

Deal Strengthens Inktomi Shopping Engine

The deal bolsters the Inktomi Shopping Engine, a platform that allows consumers to research products, compare prices and make purchases all in one place. Inktomi plans to close the deal in June and fully integrate Impulse! Buy software into the shopping engine by the summer. The new service will give sellers the ability to create incentive programs such as discount specials, point-of-purchase displays and sweepstakes that can be distributed to Inktomi’s portal customers.

Two weeks ago, Inktomi announced a wide-ranging group of new partners for the shopping engine, which included five portal and destination sites. The shopping engine now features more than 350 merchants and more than two million products.

Major Partners for Shopping Engine

The Inktomi shopping engine now has deals with 20 portal and destination sites, including the Go Network, CNET, Snap, Time Inc. New Media, and CNNfn.

Merchants represented on the shopping engine include barnesandnoble.com, Beyond.com, CyberShop, Egghead.com, Outpost.com and Reel.com.

In addition, the shopping engine includes content recommendations from respected sources like Consumers Digest. The service also provides a convenient one-stop shop for transactions. Shoppers who use the shopping engine only have to enter their information once, rather that keying in their information at each store.

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