Ask Jeeves bought for $2bn

The New York Times reports that Ask Jeeves, the fourth largest search engine firm, has been acquired:

IAC/InterActiveCorp, the Internet company headed by Barry Diller, is close to an agreement to acquire  Ask Jeeves Inc., the nation’s fourth-largest search engine company, for about $1.9 billion, according to an executive involved in the negotiations.

IAC/Interactive owns a variety of Internet businesses. Its principle holdings are Expedia, Ticket Master, Home Shopping Network, and CitySearch. The advertising spending on search sites is a rapidly growing business, and experts said last night that Ask Jeeves is well positioned to benefit from that growth.

Remember of course that Ask Jeeves bought Bloglines recently.

While we’re at the NYT, it also has an article about Apple’s penchant for suing those who disclose secrets around its product launches. A notable quote here is that the Think Secret blog at the heart of the current legal storm gets as much traffic as a typical local newspaper:

One measure of Mr. Jobs’s effectiveness as a company evangelist is the Web traffic on Think Secret, the Apple rumor site run by Mr. Ciarelli since 1998. During periods when Apple has product introductions, Mr. Ciarelli said that his site receives as many as five million page views a month. That is a level of Internet popularity roughly equal to that of a typical suburban newspaper.