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Ask.com cuts engineers, closes office in years-struggle against Google

By Cecilia Kang


photo: IAC/Interactive's Barry Diller
credit: San Francisco Chronicle

Ask.com announced on Tuesday that it’s cutting 130 engineers and closing two offices, putting an end to a five-year struggle by media mogul Barry Diller to go up against search giant Google.

The company said in its corporate blog that it will close its Edison, N.J., and Hangzhou, China, offices.

“While extremely hard, this decision was made for a number of reasons we believe will ultimately benefit our company and our products, including cost, office location and — most importantly— focus,” Ask.com President Doug Leeds wrote in the blog post.

Ask.com, founded in 1996 as Ask Jeeves, was bought by Diller’s IAC/Interactive media group for $1.85 billion in 2005. The site, which provides direct answers to questions posed in its search bar, has barely put a dent into the market share of competitors. (Disclosure: Diller is a member of The Washington Post Co. board of directors.)

Last September, Google had 66 percent of the search market, Yahoo captured 16.7 percent of all Internet searches and Ask trailed far behind with 3.7 percent of the market, according to ComScore.

By Cecilia Kang  | November 9, 2010; 3:22 PM ET
Categories:  Google, Yahoo  
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