Big Media Company Buying A Search Engine? Where Have We Seen This Before?

from the 2005-is-the-new-1998 dept

People keep saying that 2005 is the new 1998. We're seeing ridiculous IPOs, too much money going into startups that don't need it, and VCs investing in spaces they know nothing about. Even Jim Clark is back, after declaring Silicon Valley was pretty much dead. So, all that's missing is ridiculous buyouts from big old media companies trying to jump on this new media bandwagon... oh wait, we've got that too. The latest, however, is that Rupert Murdoch, sticking to his newfound evangelism for the internet and fresh off overpaying for a social networking site (and some adware) is saying that he's very close to buying a search engine. A search engine? He makes it clear that it's a cheap search engine and no one will be upset by the price. There are a bunch of names people could throw out (Snap.com or Mamma.com come to mind). Either way, this has the odd feeling of times past, when companies like Time Warner and Disney suddenly jumped into the internet space in a big way. Remember Go? Disney's "me-too" internet portal, based on their overpaying for the InfoSeek search engine, that offered nothing particularly compelling or different than any of the other portals that people were already using? Perhaps the folks at News Corp., will have learned from the past, but unless they have some real plan to do something different, it's hard to see how buying a search engine at this point makes any sense.
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