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AOL buys PersonaLogic

AOL hopes interactive buying guide developer will give it a lead in e-commerce

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AOL is to buy decision-making help software developer PersonaLogic and its interactive buying guides for an undisclosed sum. PersonaLogic creates buying guides which users can explore to help them find the right products for them. Essentially, the technology creates personalised profiles which it matches along with user prompts against product databases. The company licenses the technology to Web sites, such as computershopper.com, which uses it to provide an interactive PC buying guide. AOL already uses the technology for a series of guides. Its purchase of the company behind that software will allow it to increase the range of guides it offers and link them to e-commerce sites. The idea is, Web-based business will be keener to work with AOL than rival services, specifically Internet portals, because it can provide them with customers that are more suited to their products and services -- a precision marketing deal, in other words. So the big question will be whether AOL keeps the technology to itself or continues PersonaLogic's licensing programme. If licensing is to continue, the company hasn't yet made it clear how the technology will be branded. AOL will be rolling out PersonaLogic-based services across its US and international services, including CompuServe. It will also continue development of the technology. ® See also Netscape buys Web marketing company

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