Adding another potentially lucrative channel to its prosperous advertising network, Internet search leader Google Inc on Friday announced its acquisition of FeedBurner Inc, a service focused on making money from the steady stream of information flowing from blogs, podcasts and traditional news sites.
Financial terms of the long-rumored deal were not disclosed, an indication that the acquisition price was not large enough to dent Google's wallet, which is bulging with more than $11 billion (euro8.19 billion) in cash.
Previous reports about Google's plans to buy FeedBurner pegged the sales price at about $100 million (euro74.43 million).
Google shares gained $2.49 to close at $500.40 on Friday. With just 30 employees, privately held FeedBurner had been subsisting on $10 million (euro7.44 million) in venture capital raised since its inception four years ago. Google will allow FeedBurner to remain based in its current Chicago headquarters, but has not made a decision on whether the brand will be retained.
Although FeedBurner is a small company, the buzz about its service has been steadily building as it helped distribute ads through the rapidly expanding universe of bloggers, podcasters and other sites that send out headlines and links through Really Simple Syndication, or RSS.
More than 431,000 Web publishers currently belong to FeedBurner's network and the company says it delivers about 67 million feeds to its subscribers each day.
That kind of volume lured Google, which is aggressively looking for other marketing opportunities to build upon its success delivering text-based ad links alongside its search results and other more standard content on the Web.
The formula accounted for most of Google's $3.1 billion (euro2.31 billion) profit last year. Google recently has been experimenting with video ads on some of its partners' sites and its YouTube.com subsidiary and hopes to create a platform for distributing other types of visual ads with its planned $3.1 billion (euro2.31 billion) acquisition of DoubleClick Inc.
Federal antitrust regulators are taking a hard look at that deal to make sure it does not give Google too much power over Internet advertising market.