It’s Black Friday here in the US and countless Americans are driving from store to store looking for deals and the season’s newest gadgets and toys.
In honor of the shopping season, over the next few weeks I’m going to be pointing out a series of acquisitions made by players in our space and asking your opinion on whether these where a bargain or a dud.
Our first buy follows the theme of shopping but goes all the way back to 2004: ValueClick’s acquisition of PriceRunner. ValueClick made the purchase for $29 million during a buying spree which had included three other major buys within the previous year Search123 (May ’03); Commission Junction (Dec. ’03); Hi-Speed Media (Dec. ’03). PriceRunner, a shopping comparison provider, already had a large presence in Sweden and Germany and has since expanded into the larger European market as a whole.
Chairman and chief executive officer of ValueClick, James Zarley said about the acquisition in 2004:
“We have been looking to add comparison shopping services as part of our strategic growth plan, and in PriceRunner we have found an established partner that will help us take our first step in this rapidly-growing and profitable area of performance-based online marketing.”
In July 05, ValueClick also launched PriceRunner in the US. In October of this year, MSN announced it would use PriceRunner as the engine behind it’s European MSN Shopping service.
Did ValueClick make the right move by adding this B2C portal to its now expansive B2B offerings (CJ, FastClick, HiSpeed, Mediaplex, Search123, E-Babylon)? Has ValueClick been successful at leveraging this shopping portal in a highly competitive sector? Has PriceRunner allowed ValueClick to expand into the blooming European marketi? Is ValueClick integrating PriceRunner’s B2C consumer network with its other services such as CJ?
Great Bargain or Buyer’s Regret?