Microsoft buys owner for $486 million


Microsoft has announced a surprise deal to acquire online survey and price comparison company Greenfield Online for about $486 million (270 million).

The deal also includes the, the popular European price comparison and consumer reviews site.

Microsoft's $17.50 (9.72) per share bid betters an earlier offer from media-focused buyout firm Quadrangle to acquire the company. Greenfield said it would pay Quadrangle $5 million (2.77 million) as a termination fee.

Microsoft said it will sell off Greenfield's main business - internet surveys and market research which the company sells to companies for marketing purposes. This business accounts for about 75 per cent of the company's overall revenue.

Microsoft and Greenfield expect both deals to close during the fourth quarter of 2008.


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