Fearing being typecast as an internet travel conglomerate, Barry Diller reminds everyone that he's not just in the travel business by buying AskJeeves for almost $2 billion. Though the deal is not yet finalized, that is certainly an expensive way to break the mold. At least Diller is buying an actual profitable business this time, as opposed to just jumping on the bandwagon (and then jumping off). Then again, AskJeeves just bought into one of the hottest startup memes last month, so in that regard, isn't Diller just jumping on the bandwagon transitively? Then again, this deal does look like more than a passing fad. Considering the focus on local search offerings from both Yahoo and Google these days, the marriage of AskJeeves with CitySearch provides a wealth of local seach content and clients mutually beneficial to both companies. With Yahoo encroaching upon more and more of Diller's businesses with Travel, Personals and 360, it looks like it's time for IAC to start on its own offensive. Update And... it's official.
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