Microsoft buys comparative shopping site Jellyfish
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Microsoft buys comparative shopping site Jellyfish

Mark Raby

Redmond (WA) - Microsoft has acquired, a comparative shopping portal that gives customers a share of advertising revenue.

In a blog post, Microsoft said the deal will add more integration into the Windows Live search brand and gives it a boost in electronic commerce.

"We think the technology has some interesting potential applications as we continue to invest heavily in shopping and commerce as a key component of Live Search," wrote the software giant in its official blog.

Jellyfish allows online retailers to be included in their database at their own price.  They set how much commission will be paid for each Jellyfish-routed purchase and then the site ranks the stores correspondingly.  Users get about half of that revenue when they make a purchase, and after their rebate account exceeds $10 they receive a check.

Microsoft is lagging in e-commerce behind Google and Yahoo.  Google has a service called Google Checkout, a universal online payment platform that e-tailers can use, while Yahoo hosts an entire network of individually-run stores.