Microsoft made its last big purchase in 2007, see: Microsoft Joins Bandwagon, Buys Aquantive For $649 Million!. It's latest acquisition is going to be the Norwegian enterprise search solutions provider, Fast Search & Transfer. The announcement came from the Redmond giant on Tuesday. This move by Microsoft highlights the face off between the search engine giants Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft to be number one in search and advertising platforms.
Fast Search & Transfer is presently valued at $1.2 billion and Microsoft proposes to purchase its share at 19.00 Norwegian Kroner (NOK). The deal is pretty much done as the shareholders holding 37 percent of outstanding shares have already accepted the offer. The deal should be completed with in the second quarter of 2008.
The core business of Fast Search & Transfer was enterprise search till about a year back, but in the year 2007 they ventured into online advertising and search monetization as well. Once the news about the acquisition broke the Fast Search & Transfer's stocks showed an appreciation.
There are reactions from both the companies. Robert Keith one of the Fast's board member remarked "This is a sad day, but Fast is in good hands and I think the company will flourish more with Microsoft than it would alone," to a news site E24.
Fast CEO Jon Markus Lervik said "This is very exciting for us. We will now have the combination of the worldĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s best [search] technology and the worldĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s largest software company," as reported on Dagens IT.
From Microsoft it's Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division who comments that "Enterprise search is becoming an indispensable tool to businesses of all sizes, helping people find, use and share critical business information quicklyĂ˘â‚¬Â¦. The combination of Microsoft and Fast gives customers a new choice: a single vendor with solutions that span the full range of customer needs."