MSN buys Multimap
Posted in Pay Per Click (PPC) by Nick Smith on 19th of December, 2007
This week we have seen yet another strong move in the market by MSN to further strengthen their position in the search war with Google. Microsoft has acquired the outstanding shares of Multimap, which now means that it is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp, part of the Online Services Groups and the Microsoft Virtual Earth and Search teams. So what have Microsoft bought, Multimap is one of the world’s leading providers of online mapping and location-based services. It delivers more online maps, point-to-point driving directions and geo-spatial searches to more businesses and consumers than any other supplier in Europe. This acquisition is the latest move from Microsoft, who recently out bid Google to acquire shares in Social networking site Face book. In Microsoft’s eyes they see this as a chance to expand their online services business by delivering premium content and applications to consumers and corporate partners as well as driving innovative new advertising opportunities. They believe it will strengthen their overall search, local and geo-mapping offering and drive further technological innovation through the business. The figures place Multimap second in the field in the UK, sandwiched between the market leading Google Maps, which attracted about 11 million users, and the third-placed Google Earth. Microsoft’s current mapping effort, Live Search Maps, sits in a very distant and uncomfortable fifth place, with about 868,000 users. It has not been disclosed how much this acquisition has cost Microsoft, but it is thought to be around £25 million. So what does this mean for the world of search, in 2004 the public web site of mulitmap regularly delivered more than 160 million page views per month and received more than 7.3 million unique users per quarter. Local business ads are a huge growth area in search to look out for, and this move by Microsoft highlights their need for a sufficient portal to be able to compete with Google.