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Scripps Looking For A Bargain At Shopzilla

from the shopping-for-shopping-engines dept

Looks like this summer’s hot item might be comparison shopping sites — not even a week after eBay’s Scripps acquisition of Shopping.com, Scripps announces their intention to acquire Shopzilla (formerly known as BizRate) for $525 million in cash. The synergies between Shopzilla and Scripps seem obvious at first glance: Scripps’ many sites benefit by having a commerce play, and Scripps’ content help differentiate Shopzilla in the commodotized comparison shopping market. However, the statement from the Scripps’ CEO that “In many ways, like our other media businesses, Shopzilla is a content company” seems misguided. If Scripps treats Shopzilla like a traditional content company, they overlook the actual strengths of the Shopzilla service. Shopzilla is much more a shopping tool & service, with its strength in the long-tail of merchants, products, and user opinions that it offers. To simply treat Shopzilla as another brand within a content portfolio could limit its potential. Then again, if Scripps takes a lesson from BizRate and applies its model and technology to content aggregation (as outlined by two Scripps executives last month), perhaps there’s a viable strategy in the works. Who got the best bargain: Excite’s Jango in 1997 for $35M, Amazon’s Junglee in 1998 for $186M, CNET’s mySimon in 2000 for $700M, Yahoo’s Kelkoo in 2004 for $579M, eBay’s Shopping.com buy for $620M last week, or today’s Scripps-Shopzilla deal? What’s next? PriceGrabber-IAC? NexTag-MSN?

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